My Navajo culture has taught me to always respect my elders, a tradition that is slowly losing it’s significance. While visiting a homeless shelter in my hometown, Gallup, New Mexico, I met a group of Native elders that had intriguing stories and jokes to share. This series is dedicated to those men and two of my beloved uncles, all of whom are veterans. In my culture, arrowheads are often blessed by a medicine man and worn around the neck to provide protection. The arrowhead underneath each portrait is a representation of my prayer of protection over these men. I hope to draw attention to the severe problem of homelessness and health issues amongst veterans and also pay tribute to them for their service and those that served along side them.
Altruism: Alvin Adakai
US Army
Okinawa, 1964-1968
“The Lord be with you.”
Altruism: Howard Paytiamo
US Marine Corps. 1st MAW, 3rd MAW, H&MS, 33 Mag, VMF-AW 531
Atsugi, Japan, 1958
Altruism: Eddie Etsitty Sr.
US Marine Corps.
Okinawa and Vietnam, 1965-1969
“The Few and The Proud.”
Altruism: Elroy King
US Marine Corps. Aviation, Helicopter Pilot
Vietnam, Okinawa, Philippine Islands, 1981-1995
“Peace on to the fallen soldiers, the ones I didn’t come back with. I miss my brothers.”
Altruism: Ernie Smith
US Navy, Seal Team __
Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Guam, and Vietnam, 1969-1973
“Freedom isn’t free...the Indian nation, if they’re free; they’re free.”
Altruism
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Altruism

A series of portraits to honor Native American Veterans
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