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July 25, 2013

Native American Veterans’ Memorial amendments get hearing

WASHINGTON —

The Native American Veterans’ Memorial Amendments Act, H.R. 2319, received a hearing Tuesday in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs.
A Cherokee and member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs, Congressman Markwayne Mullin introduced the legislation.
“As a Cherokee and the grandson of a World War II veteran, I was proud to have the opportunity today to talk about the contributions of Native Americans,” said Mullin. “I tell people all of the time that the Cherokee Nation are a proud people.  As Americans, we have an obligation to serve this country and take pride in being Americans.”
The legislation would amend the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Establishment Act of 1994 to allow the National Museum of the American Indian to construct a memorial to Native American veterans on the museum’s grounds.  Current law authorizes the memorial inside the confines of the museum but it is widely agreed that there is insufficient space within the facility to construct a proper tribute to our Native American veterans.
The bipartisan bill also allows the museum to raise money for the memorial, which cannot be paid for with taxpayer funds. U.S. Rep. Cole (OK-4), a Chickasaw, is one of the 14 cosponsors of the legislation.
During the subcommittee hearing, Mullin introduced Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden.  Crittenden is a Vietnam Veteran and served in the U.S. Navy.  Deputy Chief Crittenden’s family has a long service of military service, including a great uncle who served in World War I and an uncle who served in the Korean War.  Deputy Chief Crittenden’s father served during World War II.
Mullin asked Deputy Chief Crittenden about the rate of service by Native Americans and what Crittenden learned during his own time in the service about other Cherokee Nation members or the service of other Native American men and women.

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