American Indian Warrior Association: San Diego
Roy Cook: Publisher
San Diego American Indian stories are brought to you by Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR.

AMERICAN INDIAN WARRIORS ASSOCIATION AIWA Honor Color Guard members were invited to be a part of the Veterans Day festivities in Old Town San Diego on Nov. 11, 2011.

There were many local Tribal Artists and other Native American related Institutional representatives in attendance: botanical groups, Museum of man and the like. All were assembled on the grassy plaza in the heart of the State park Prado.

AIWA: Joaquin Sandoval and Roy Cook assembled our Indian staff and the colors in their mobile stand. There were members of the other Veterans groups there too. They volunteered to stand in and carry in the colors if we were short of members. Alex Rodriguez and his son had a Jueaneno display and we enjoyed the warmth of the day reliving past airborne paratrooper memories. WW II USMC Veteran Manuel Flores was also a Para-marine and joined in relating his training in North Carolina and New Jersey. US Navy submariner Joe Luna splashed in with his salty stories of his times in the diesel boats.

When 51st District Congressman Bob Filner came into the area we all moved to the flagpole and the colors and things moved quickly from a blessing by Celia Flores, Juaneno Elder to Assemblyman, Bob Filner. He was introduced by the day’s organizer Minnie. He spoke to the debt our Nation owes our military female and male Veterans and his efforts on the Veterans committee in Congress.

Veterans’ Cost-of-Living Adjustment Bill Passes Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed S. 894, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011. S. 894 passed the Senate on October 19, 2011. This measure will be sent to the White House, and the President is expected to sign it into law.

I am relieved that veterans will finally be seeing a cost-of-living increase. Veterans are in need of real help in this economy, and the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011 will provide some measure of assistance to our veterans.

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which takes effect on December 1, 2011, would increase the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors. These increases match the increases granted to Social Security recipients, which are expected to be 3.6 percent. This marks the first increase in two years.

The House passed its version of the COLA bill, H.R. 1407, on May 23, 2011. This version included a section extending the VA’s authority to provide specially adapted housing assistance to individuals residing temporarily in housing owned by a family member. This authority was extended to December 2012 in P.L. 112-37, the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011, enacted on October 5, 2011.

His 51st district includes most of the East county Kumeyaay Tribal reservations.

He didn’t mention so I asked him of his campaign to be the next Mayor of San Diego. He states,"Moving forward also means making a clean sweep of the so-called leadership at City Hall. Those who have driven this city into the ground need to step aside and go away. The problems we face weren’t created overnight; in fact, numerous City Councils have shared in our deterioration. City politicians for years have sought the easy way out. Hungry for campaign contributions, they passed out favours or turned their heads. The problems increased. City Hall insiders and downtown power brokers sold the well-being of our city in exchange for special deals and political favours."

I asked to be allowed to sing a song in honor of the Desert Storm and Iraq returning troops. With a hand drum I sang the Kiowa Desert storm song and with a gourd rattle, in respect for the ‘home turf’ of the local Kumeyaay people, I sang a Wildcat challenge song. These songs were well received and appreciated as befitting the purpose of the day. Later a long known artist Guillermo came into the area. He has been working on a mural here in town for the past 5 months. He now lives in Taos, New Mexico and he had a hand drum and an urge to sing a few songs. We filled the area with round dance, Chumash and plains songs.

All in all, a good day, good times and good tunes for all our brothers and sisters in harm’s way this day-Veterans Day 2011. Mehan.

"The nation that makes a great distinction between its warriors and its scholars will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools" -Thucydides

AIWA Secretary/ Historian, Roy Cook