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:
Gathering scheduled in June at site of former BIA insane asylum (4/29)
Native Sun News: Tribal college student overcomes challenges (4/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ancestors are gone but language lives on (4/29)
Mike Rounds: Eliminate 'hateful' and 'paternalistic' federal laws (4/29)
Harlan McKosato: White privilege fuels Donald Trump's fanbase (4/29)
Indian Health Service faulted for lengthy waits for patient care (4/29)
Mescalero Apache woman to compete for Miss United States (4/29)
Environmental Protection Agency pays little to tribes for spill (4/29)
Measure to declare bison as official mammal ready for Obama (4/29)
John Wayne's negative views about tribes resurface in debate (4/29)
Chumash Tribe picks Kenneth Kahn as first new leader in years (4/29)
Mille Lacs Band announces upgrades as casino marks 25 years (4/29)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees warmer reception to casino bid (4/29)
Florida racks up legal bills in gaming fight with Seminole Tribe (4/29)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over shutdown (4/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves eight bills at meeting (4/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe to debut justice center (4/28)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne official fired from tribal job (4/28)
Native Sun News: Comments sought on Black Hills mine cleanup (4/28)
Editorial: Native Sun News endorses Hillary Clinton for president (4/28)
Cronkite News: EPA slammed for response to Gold King Mine spill (4/28)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (4/28)
Santee Sioux Tribe hosts task force to address substance abuse (4/28)
Huge crowds flock to New Mexico for annual Gathering of Nations (4/28)
Muckleshoot Tribe to host $50K 'Gold Cup' for Indian relay racing (4/28)
Member of Puyallup Tribe develops 'Teepee' tribal directory app (4/28)
Man in long fight with Shingle Springs Band faces longer sentence (4/28)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe enters gaming agreement with Mohegan Tribe (4/28)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees casino as a path to self-sufficiency (4/28)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe announces another hire at casino (4/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes rejection of rival casino bid (4/28)
Senate passes measure to include Indian Country in tourism plans (4/27)
Amanda Blackhorse to deliver commencement speech at Haskell (4/27)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge artist gains national recognition (4/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: 'Bull Dawg' represents the Oglala Lakota Nation (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Tribes endorse Native candidates for US Congress (4/27)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer with Indian Health Service care (4/27)
Cronkite News: Tribes support more protections at Grand Canyon (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: A moral responsibility to stop tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: University must stop celebrating genocide (4/27)
Eastern Cherokee group hails Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act (4/27)
Leader of Fort Peck Tribes blames baby's death on drug abuse (4/27)
Chippewa Cree Tribe and FBI investigate theft of drugs at clinic (4/27)
Former comptroller of Crow Tribe accused of embezzling $28K (4/27)
Congress set to pass bill to declare bison as national mammal (4/27)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (4/27)
Graton Rancheria on track to complete $175M casino expansion (4/27)
Pokagon Band to debut casino expansion project by end of year (4/27)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (4/27)
Oregon Lottery official fired as Lewis and Clark ads come down (4/27)
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.