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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
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.