Three members of the Walker River Paiute Tribe returned Sunday from the first ever all Native American Honor Flight.
Honor Flight is a national, non-profit which helps to send veterans on free trips to Washington, D.C. to see their war memorials.
The flight and trip allow those who attend to honor those men and women who served next to them in times of war – yet never made it home from the battlefield.
The three Walker River Paiute Trial members who attended were: Victor Williams, Sr., Richard Carter and Ramon Oceguara.
Nevada is the first state to send Native Americans back to Washington, D.C. and when greeting the travelers back to Nevada on Sunday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated, “To be able to be the first in the country to host an event like this, really is something special. Everybody really embraced one another and welcomed these men and women home from an amazing trip to Washington, D.C, it’s what makes Nevada special.”
Not only were those in attendance to visit memorials in Washington, D.C. and share stories of times past, but they were also given Quilts of Valor, which was founded by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts. When her son deployed to Iraq, she stated that she felt, “only ten seconds from panic.” She envisioned a post deployed warrior struggling with his own demons, sitting on the edge of the bed wrapped in a comforting quilt. From that vision, the Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded.
The quilts are not made out of charity. It is made from loving hands of men and women, both – all various degrees of sewing capability, one piece at a time, at sewing bees where the talk of family and friends dominate the conversation.
Included in their Washington, D.C. stop was a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian and the veterans were able to attend a Veterans Day ceremony and place a sash on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Upon landing at Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the veterans were greeted by friends and family. There was royalty from the University of Nevada Reno, royalty from Numaga and several dancers from different tribes as well as drum groups.
The Lady Warriors from Pyramid Lake and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 6825 were in attendance.
A round dance ensued welcoming home those who made this monumental and historical flight.