It was 30 plus years before he ever heard the Honor Song, "Welcome Home Soldier Boy, Vietnam Veteran Soldier Boy…WELCOME HOME." The emotion was intense; he felt as though it was choking him and the tears…they fell down his shirt like a Vietnam Typhoon. It was the medicine that began cleansing
his heart of the ugly past and its wounds
The Healing begins…
While sitting in several Veteran Sweat lodges, Roy Nielsen listened to the Elders speak of a Warriors CLEANSING from the blood guilt; on the hands and the wounded heart. It is cultural with nDn people, but they a re open to ALL Veterans…and they Honor ALL Veterans…actually they were the ONLY PEOPLE as a people that did honor the Vietnam Veterans when they returned from conflict to an ungrateful nation…sadly…most of them did not know it…when he first learned this, it became a Life Mission for him to tell other Veterans of his era…which has now expanded to ALL Veterans.
One thing he had learned is how Honoring also begins a healing of the wounded heart in the nDn people; just to hear these two words, "Thank You" Thank you, for the Song…the Dance…the Honoring and WELCOME HOME….some
begin to shed those same tears that he experienced when he heard the honor song…Soldier Boy. He learned that the Sioux were singing that song in the 60's and 70's even as he was coming home.
This is Roy's personal website / page: http://www.clayvessels.net/vets/na.htm
1…The poem; on this page, of the FORGOTTEN WARRIOR speaks like thunder when coupled with the history and legacy of
GREAT AMERICAN WARRIORS…for instance "The CODE TALKERS" In the movie Wind Talkers it was made quite clear that
nDn Warriors were NOT recognized by the brass for their Valor in those days. In the case of Ira Hayes he was used (used up) by
our government…to benefit their purpose/end. I wish Ira Hayes could have known that his unwanted attention as a hero actually did
a service of greater good for his fellow Marines.
2…THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER Memorial Sculpture in Wisconsin is the ONLY National tribute to the Native American Warrior.
The National Congress of American Indians voted unanimously that this was the BEST location for reasons that are obvious to nDn People/Warriors.
This is the story the way Roy tells it. It goes like this:
Look at the Vietnam Memorial Statue of the THREE SOLDIERS in Washington DC…One Warrior is Black, One White, and One
Latino…observe the expression on their faces; to me all three speak loudly: "WHERE IS OUR BROTHER?"
Now travel 1000-miles West-North-West to THE HIGH GROUND in Neillsville Wisconsin…there stands a solitary LONE WARRIOR;
the FORGOTTEN SOLDIER, on his face; to me, is this undeniable expression, "HERE I AM".
3…You are already familiar with IRA HAYES…
4…The tribute to Virgil Cross Guns I wrote when his sister; Hazel, asked me to write a tribute about her brother. I know a Lipan Apache,
Vietnam Veteran that was at the PowWow that day when Virgil fell to the ground directly in front of where he was seated; he had just gone
to retrieve some refreshments for his family…when he returned his family told him what was happening; it was a day that shall never be
forgotten by those who know the story.
In the end…
Roy Nielsen has witnessed MANY Combat Veterans begin to break and weep when they are honored by a people who's culture demands Honor.
As the keeper of the "CALLING HOME SONG", he shares the bonds of one type of warrior to another and one that many will never begin to understand.
The only way for a Veteran to find or be dishonoured on the Rez is to bring the dishonour upon themselves. However even though it may not be publicized, there are Americans out there that were thanking the veterans when they returned from war, even if it wasn’t popular and they did it from one American warrior to another.
(Thanks for the info on this topic Roy. A topic that has been overlooked or unknown by the general public . Hopefully this will reach the masses and educate them. )
Time for a Cgar for all warriors.