Santa Ysabel Veterans Day Recognition
By Roy Cook
Tribal Veterans- Tribal land, November 12, 2007, Santa Ysabel, CA. This day is filled with the irony of life. This is a day to consider our freedoms. This is a day to consider our Military Tribal Veterans our Tribal life and the freedom to be what we are. This is a day that military duty, courage life and death is as clearly evident as the notes from Jay Young as his trumpet sounded taps over the Santa Ysabel valley.

Santa Ysabel Vice Chairperson Brandi Taylor welcomed everyone to the Veteran’s Tribute. Tribal member Ron Christman delivered the blessing for all veterans and in particular for Tribal member Don Vigneault who had to be medi-vac with a medical emergency. Additionally Ron and his son Ral Christman sang four appropriate Tukuk Bird songs.

Santa Ysabel Tribal member Nicholas Hutcheson was honored for his military service in Alaska during the Korean War: U S Navy 1952-53. He received a beautiful Pendleton wool blanket in recognition of the ceremony.

Santa Ysabel event co-coordinator Bonnie Salgado made everything run smoothly. American Indian Warriors Association provided the Honor Color Guard for the fifth year. Tribal member Stan Rodriguez brought in the eagle staff and Charlie Gauchino brought in the Santa Ysabel Tribal flag.

Tribal members Frank Sutalo read veteran’s roll call for living and past Tribal veterans and U S Navy Bosun Jerry Reed rang the bell for past veterans. The miles traveled to and from the event this day vividly underscore these poignant moments.

Viewing clearly mile after mile of desolation and disaster from the recent fires in the backcountry brought forth mixed emotions of sadness and hope.. Purification and cleansing are not easy but from time to time expected in the natural order of life. But then, no has ever said it is easy to be Indian and free. All my relations, Mehan.