Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Van’tLeven, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
EVERETT Wash. — Sailors from Naval Station Everett (NSE) and tenant commands gathered for a National American Indian Heritage month observance at the Grand Vista Ballroom on base, Nov. 28.
The event, coordinated by the NSE heritage committee, featured a presentation focusing on the various contributions American Indians have made to the country and military.
“Today we took time out of our day, with Naval Station Everett and tenant commands, to embrace, learn about, and celebrate Native American Heritage, as well as, learn about the impact of diversity in our military and its history,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas P. Murphy, with NSE Security, from Bellingham Wash., who spoke at the event.
The presentation, conducted by members of the NSE security department, featured a brief history of several prominent Native American veterans, as well as, a history of individuals known as “Code Talkers” who used their knowledge of Native American language to build a code to decipher U.S. military transmissions during WWII.
“Not too many militaries around the world have the diversity that we do, and as it’s been displayed, Native Americans were able to use their language to mask and send transmissions for tactical movements for the U.S. military, and that’s a strength that we embraced.”
The month of November was designated as National American Indian Heritage month in 1990 by then President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Each year military commands across the United States and the World participate in events and ceremonies highlighting American Indian culture.