Opinion: Keeble leaves legacy of honor and duty

"Two recent newspaper pieces (an AP story, the other a Tribune editorial) announced and acknowledged the awarding of the Medal of Honor, posthumously, to Master Sgt. Woodrow W. Keeble. As stated, Keeble was a Native American, a member of the Wahpeton-Sisseton tribe of Sioux. What is not mentioned is the fact that he was a North Dakota National Guardsman as well. I don't mean to imply that this omission was deliberate. I am sure the authors simply were not aware of this fact.

Keeble enlisted in Co. I, 164th Infantry Regiment, at Wahpeton prior to World War II. The regiment was mobilized in 1941, sent to Camp Clairborne, La., for training and eventually took part in the bloody fighting on Guadalcanal, in support of the 1st Marine Division. His was the first Army unit to take offensive action in the Pacific.

Following four years of combat in the Pacific, Keeble returned to Wahpeton and was employed at the Wahpeton Indian School. In January 1951, the North Dakota Army National Guard was mobilized again, during the Korean conflict. Keeble, just two weeks prior to the unit's departure for Camp Rucker, Ala., re-enlisted in Co "I" at Wahpeton and went again on active duty, explaining, "Someone has to teach these kids how to fight."

Later that year, he volunteered to go to Korea as an individual replacement. From that time on his heroic exploits were numerous as evidenced by his four Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with (valor) device, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross."

Get the Story:
Duane Holly: Keeble left a legacy of honor and duty (The Bismarck Tribune 2/29)

Appropriations Act:
H.R.2206 | Summary | Detailed Summary | President's Statement on Congressional Passage of the War Supplemental

Relevant Links:
National Native American Veterans Association - http://www.nnava.org

Related Stories:
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Editorial: Long overdue honor for Master Sgt. Keeble (2/26)
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Bush urged to award medal to Dakota veteran (8/16)
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Opinion: Sisseton-Wahpeton vet deserved honor (03/12)
Yellow Bird: Woody Keeble a true American hero (03/05)
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Interview: Woody Keeble, a hero of two wars (2/26)
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