Today in a ceremony at the White House, Master Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Keeble will finally receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism and sacrifice. Keeble is the first full-blooded Dakota Oyate (Sioux) to receive the honor.
The full story of his heroism is recounted in our local media, and here at military.com, and in the words of ND Senator Byron Dorgan here. A story of heroism so profound his comrades all submitted him for Medal of Honor consideration. But the paperwork was “lost.” Maybe they thought the Purple Hearts and other awards were enough. Funny how that happens when you’re a person of color.
Not daunted, his name was again submitted for Medal of Honor consideration. Paperwork “lost” again.
Many don’t know that Native Americans serve in the military at the highest percentage of demographic groups. Serve, and are wounded, and come home in flag-draped coffins. And to what?
“Lost” paperwork it takes half a century to put right.
For some, the fate of Ira Hayes. Or for lives on reservations that too often look like
There are heroes serving today, of all colors and demographics. Most of us will never know their names. As Prince Harry—who was fighting for us, by the way—pointed out, he’s no hero. It’s the guys coming home, on the plane with him, on other flights, missing a leg or an arm, or suffering emotionally from the traumas of war.
The men and women who selflessly serve. How shall we honor them? With a White House ceremony in a few years or past a lifetime?
Master Sgt. Keeble’s award will be presented posthumously. He lived 65 years among his people and his neighbors and died in 1982. A giant in stature, a giant among men.
As a commenter notes at the military.com website: