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article imageNative American vets want recognition, memorial

By Owen Weldon     May 26, 2013 in World
A grassroots effort has been brewing among Native American Indian tribes around the country to erect a soldier statue on the National Mall in recognition of Native American Indians, as well as Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians.
According to Fox, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii has introduced legislation that would clear the way for private funds to be raised for a memorial.
According to Newser, Jefferson Keel, who is a retired Army officer and the president of the National Congress of American Indians, said that politically speaking, it is not a gamble or a threat for anyone, and it is something that everyone on both sides can get support. He went onto say that it is something that will not cost a lot of money, and it is something that just needs to be done.
According to ABC, the push for a memorial can be traced to the 80s, where near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial three soldiers sculpture was unveiled. The three sculptures depicted three american soldiers, one Hispanic, black and white.
The federal government said that during the Vietnam era there were more than 42,000 Native Americans who served in the military. The government also said that 90 percent of those that served did so as volunteers.
Steven Bowers, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Seminole tribe in Florida, said that a lot of Indians believe that there should be something at the National Mall. Bowers also said that many Indians said that they have not been recognized.
John Garcia, who is the deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said that a memorial is a real possibility if private funds are raised and if land is located.
Garcia said that a memorial dedicated to Native American veterans would be the right thing to do because Native Americans have been involved in every single American war, and this includes the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war.
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