indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Indian veteran reaches out to fellow warriors

Filed Under: National
More on: cheyenne river sioux, native sun news, south dakota, veterans
     

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.


Robert Dunsmore, front row, second from right, poses with the Cheyenne River Veterans Association. Dunsmore has worked tirelessly on issues facing his fellow Native American veteran Akicita (Warriors). COURTESY/CHEYENNE RIVER VETERANS ASSOCIATION

Honoring our Akicita: Robert Dunsmore reaches out on Cheyenne River
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Staff Writer

EAGLE BUTTE — From 1977 to 1981, Robert Dunsmore, Lakota, served in the U.S. Army specializing in work with helicopters.

Today, Dunsmore works as an advocate for other Native American veterans in South Dakota, informing them about the services that are available to them.

“I kind of followed my brothers’ footsteps, they all went and served in Vietnam and came back. So I guess I decided to do what they did, and I went and joined the army,” said Dunsmore.

Dunsmore, who was born in December of 1960, has worked as the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s veterans service officer for the last three and a half years. In this position, Dunsmore plays an active role in addressing the needs of his fellow veterans.

As a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Veterans Services Committee he has worked to educate both returning and retired veterans about the services that are available to them.

“We are involved in all kinds of veterans’ issues, especially with the VA on health care. Really, anything to do with veterans’ issues we try to help out with,” Dunsmore said.

“South Dakota has more veterans per capita than any other state, yet our veterans — especially the Indian ones — do not take advantage of the services that are available to them,” he noted.

He believes that part of the reason why Native American veterans fail to utilize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ services is that they are unaware of what is available to them.

“The VA tries to let people know what their programs are, but at the same time they are not going to go stand out on the street corner with signs and advertise their programs either,” said Dunsmore.

Of particular concern to him and the veterans committee is the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among their ranks — and the unwillingness of recent veterans to admit that they are showing signs of the disease.

PTSD, which has become a well-known diagnosis among veterans in America over the last decade, often goes untreated because returning soldiers often deny they are experiencing symptoms of the disease.

“PTSD has been around since World War I, World War II, through Korea and Vietnam, and is here again with the wars going on now,” said Dunsmore.

“The problem now is with the young guys coming back; I work with them a lot, and they will not admit that something is wrong with them — and they are going without treatment. They are the ones we have to push for now because they are the ones we have to worry about now.”

In addition to working on health care issues, Dunsmore and the veterans committee in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation try to reach out to other veterans to help them receive the recognition they deserve for their service.

“Some of the vets will not come forward because of how they were treated coming back from Vietnam by the public. The other ones will not come forward because it is a cultural thing. Native American veterans do not go around bragging about their accomplishments over there,” Dunsmore said.

He hopes that this will change when other veterans reach out to them and let them know that being a veteran is something to be proud of. “A vet is more likely to speak with another vet about things that are bothering them or about their experience — that is what the veterans committee is here for.”

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
National Park Service finalizes rule for tribal gathering of plants (6/30)
Five tribes donate over $500K to Democratic party's convention (6/30)
Bureau of Indian Affairs still hoping to reach land-into-trust goal (6/30)
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe secures proclamation for 410 acres (6/30)
Seminole Tribe takes a big step forward with land-into-trust bid (6/30)
Tohono O'odham Nation signs health self-governance compact (6/30)
Native Sun News: Lakota and Cheyenne people join forces again (6/30)
Lakota Country Times: Paper continues to reach large audience (6/30)
Cronkite News: Senate committee takes on tribal water issues (6/30)
Dave Archambault: A day for all of Indian Country to remember (6/30)
Vi Waln: Don't let politics get in way of our children's education (6/30)
Leonard Peltier: My last best hope for freedom lies with Obama (6/30)
Shinnecock Nation weighs options to reclaim ancestral territory (6/30)
White Mountain Apache Tribe welcomes 'significant' discovery (6/30)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes press for water pact (6/30)
Mille Lacs Band slams county for ending law enforcement deal (6/30)
County might end Grand Traverse Band land-into-trust appeal (6/30)
Tlingit and Haida Tribes acquire government contracting firm (6/30)
Donald Trump approved Indian gaming attack ads in New York (6/30)
Judge focuses on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino decision (6/30)
Eastern Cherokee youth push for change in gaming per capita (6/30)
Buena Vista Rancheria signs updated Class III casino compact (6/30)
Connecticut tribes still working on plan for potential new casino (6/30)
Effort builds for missing and murdered Native women and girls (6/29)
Native talent among diverse group asked to join film academy (6/29)
Richard Peterson: New era of tribal-state cooperation in Alaska (6/29)
Mark Trahant: A Native champion on the ballot in South Dakota (6/29)
Lakota Country Times: Outdoor movies a success at Pine Ridge (6/29)
Delphine Red Shirt: American history ignores tribal perspective (6/29)
Gabe Galanda: The growing chorus against tribal disenrollment (6/29)
Woman from Crow Tribe dies after brutal attack on reservation (6/29)
Man charged with murdering girlfriend on Fort Peck Reservation (6/29)
Nooksack Tribe fires elder who spoke out against disenrollment (6/29)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gets ready for 95th annual powwow (6/29)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation members serve on city commission (6/29)
A Tribe Called Red goes to Alaska next month for Native benefit (6/29)
Sorry but DNA tests cannot confirm a person's Native ancestry (6/29)
Church denies connection to vandalism at Otomi site in Mexico (6/29)
Former Choctaw Nation casino worker gets two months for theft (6/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation shares $1.2M from controversial casino (6/29)
Grande Ronde Tribes consider hotel but not a casino at old track (6/29)
Meskwaki Tribe looks for fugitive reportedly seen at casino hotel (6/29)
Supreme Court puts an end to another tribal jurisdiction dispute (6/28)
Native women hail Supreme Court decision on domestic violence (6/28)
Navajo Nation leaders reflect on historic Supreme Court session (6/28)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.