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Yellow Bird: Remembering my brother, a Vietnam vet

"My brother, "Cookie," fought in the jungles of Vietnam.

From the little he told us, we knew it was bad. He told me only a little of the war. What he did tell me concerned the everyday things, such as not being able to dry clothes. The soldiers tried to dry the clothes by smoking them, my brother said.

He hated the rations and food, but mostly he hated the constant fear he and his fellow soldiers faced each day and every night.

When I read about the terror and the killing some 20 years after the war my brother fought, I began to understand why my brother had that look of man who saw the dead and spirits from the world.

Currently, we are at war in the Middle East. Native people are on the line - Lori Piestewa, the first woman to die in the Middle East, and Sheldon Hawk Eagle, who lived in Grand Forks, died there.

In percentage terms, Native Americans have the highest number in this war. We are people who are warriors, so fighting for Turtle Island is a brave and honorable way.

On this Veteran's Day celebration on the reservation, I will dance to the drums and with each step I will remember my brothers - all of them - but particularly my brother who fought in a futile war he didn't understand. I will remember he went bravely because he was a warrior."

Get the Story:
DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Remembering a warrior brother (The Grand Forks Herald 11/9)

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