Beale celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Master Sgt. Thundercloud Hirajeta, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron. Hirajeta is dressed in full Comanche regalia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robert Scott)

Master Sgt. Thundercloud Hirajeta, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron. Hirajeta is dressed in full Comanche regalia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robert Scott)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Beale brought Native American Heritage Month to a close with a luncheon at the Recce Point Club here Nov. 29.

Native American Heritage Month honors the contributions and accomplishments of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

Master Sgt. Thundercloud Hirajeta, the luncheon featured guest speaker gave a presentation on Native American history and willingness to serve in almost every major conflict.

"Native Americans have a proud heritage of serving in the military," Hirajeta said. "Since the Revolutionary War, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have played a vital role in America's freedom and security. It's in our culture to serve and fight. It's our warrior ethos."

Hirajeta said Native Americans morals, values and ideals molded the American way.

"They show wisdom of how simple it is to put service before self, honor and respect others, especially leaders, elders and the environment," Hirajeta said. "Showing respect is a basic law of life. Native Americans are respectful of other's ethnicity, culture and background."

In the National Native American Heritage Month Presidential Proclamation, President Barack Obama wrote "...American Indians and Alaskan Natives have profoundly shaped our country's character and our cultural heritage. Today, Native Americans are leaders in every aspect of our society--from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the battlefield...this month we celebrate and honor them."

After the presentation, Hirajeta displayed Native cultural dance instruments while dressed in full Comanche regalia.

"I think it's important for people to see the culture up close and in person," he said.

Col. Chad Clifton, 9th Maintenance Group commander, gave the closing remarks.

"Since the birth of America, Native Americans have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage," Clifton said. "It's an honor to stand beside them and serve."