A Long Journey

My father was born in OKC, OK in 1922. He was an Okie of the toughest leather and a two fisted, honky tonk, Friday bar fighter night kind of guy. He was also a WWII hero fighting the Nazi. We never lived in Oklahoma so when he passed, and I was being transferred from active duty USAF to the Reserves at Tinker AFB (yes, our Osage Gen. Tinker) I was more than willing to say yes. That was 1974. Little did I realize all the richness of tribal influence with military blended in I would encounter. In 1969 I was a senior in high school in Long Beach California when I became aware of Native Americans starting making a case for rights.

On this day in history a group of 80 Native Americans, all college students, seized Alcatraz Island in the name of “Indians of All Tribes.” The occupation lasted 19 months. They offered $24 in beads and cloth to buy the island, demanded an American Indian University, museum and cultural center, and listed reasons why the island was a suitable Indian reservation. I have been to Alcatraz and it is an experience to say the least, an island in the San Francisco Bay.

I bring this up since life’s journey has brought me to Osage County, OK. I am married to a tough Cherokee gal and have close ties with our local veterans and tribal connections. Last week our Post Commander and I represented Post 142 at the Osage Veteran and Military Veteran ceremony up on Grand View in Pawhuska. It was well attended. More dignitaries that I can list but Chief Standing Bear spoke as well as American Legion leader John Henry. It was cold but the Post 142 (Steve Swinford) and I had our Osage tribal honorary veteran blankets on our lap, so we were good. My point is that I brag that Hominy is a very patriotic city. The fact is the Osage and its county are equally patriotic (except for those Sand Springs folks, just kidding).

On a private note, we appreciate Carl Blue and the SAL boys getting the flags to the football games, that is hard work. I know his son Lewis works hard on this as well. The Sons of American Legion crew is working on many things you will be informed of soon.
Get them quickly, raffle tickets! The new raffle tickets are coming out around our usual outlets. We did very well last time and want to do it again. 100 Anniversary American Legion coins are still available as well!

Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month. November 21st will be the next one at 7:00 PM Monday morning Koffee Klatch 8:00 AM meetings in November are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). The second Monday of the month will be covered by Mr. Jimmy Himes. The third Monday of the month Dennis Kidder will be picking up donuts for breakfast. Just watch the weather, it is the only factor that my change. If there is a 5th Monday, there is no breakfast. If you drive by and no one is there head downtown where there is a great breakfast place. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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