Soaring Eagles Veterans Tribute

By Roy Cook

This Soaring Eagles Tuesday evening, Nov. 10, ‘09, is significant on a number of levels. It is very nice to see something being done to recognize the contributions of our Native American Military Veterans. It is always a wonderful opportunity to see many of our Tribal urban and rural residents attend these community events. Our Indian children need to see our adult population having fun in a clean, sober and clean living atmosphere. To see our Tribal teachers and community leaders taking the time to present or acknowledge the urban Indian population is a very positive bonding glue that helps pull the community together. These are some of the between the lines elements that are so necessary to pull the scheduled pieces together.

Chuck Cadotte acknowledged the continuing illness of Vickie Gambala and read a letter from her regarding the Soaring Eagles and their achievements of the past eighteen months. Chuck then called upon Stan Rodriguez for the blessing. Then he asked Stan to speck to the Veterans point of view and his personal experience of the first Gulf War. Stan gave an excellent presentation and invited everyone to the Santa Ysabel Veterans Day celebration at 10 am on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 09.


Many military veterans from earlier conflicts were in attendance: WW 11, Korea, Cold War, Vietnam, Somalia, Caribbean ‘hot’ spots, Gulf War 1&2, Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms Karin Giron, on behalf of the American Indian Warriors Association, read a tribute and screened a visual presentation of ‘Gunny’ Chet Hunt. Also acknowledged was the plaque installed on Mount Solidad. The Soaring Eagle Singers sang an Honoring Song appropriate to the occasion.


Both Chuck Caddotte and Stan Rodriuguez told traditional stories as we waited for the call. Elders First! A very tasty hominy soup and popover fried bread with beans and all the trimmings. These and hot coffee or cool punch rounded out the main meal. Potluck items were available as the opportunity presented it.


With the lovely cake and desert items demolished, the Soaring Eagle Dancers put on their outfits and danced for the Verbenas, family and friends attending. Steve Garcia’s Eagle Dance was a special presentation before a final Veteran’s Roll Call and Honor Song to close out the evening. A great time was there for all to enjoy. We need to all take pride in the service of our Military American Indian Veterans everyday. Freedom is not free.


Soaring Eagle invited events:

Nov. 12 at SDSU Scripps cottage 5pm Inter-tribal singers, AIWA, dancers welcome. NASA Dinner for all at 7pm.

November 14 Soaring Eagle dance exhibition at the Bonita library. Performance at noon is there in regalia by 11am.

November 24 Soaring Eagle dance exhibition at the US Border Patrol. TBA

Clairmont Montessori school Soaring Eagle dance performance, TBA.

Nickelodeon filming segment with the Soaring Eagles in about 4 months, TBA.