All Native veteran honor flight from Nevada arrives in Washington

The Native vterans in flight in Washington, D.C. Photo by Honor Flight Nevada

A special group of veterans has arrived in the nation's capital.

The honor flight consisting entirely of Native veterans departed Nevada on Thursday. The group consists of 45 tribal citizens from Nevada and from California.

The unique group is spending the Veterans Day weekend in Washington, D.C., paying tribute to their fellow service members. As of Friday morning, they had already visited a Navy memorial and another one for disabled veterans.

"We have a full day today and tomorrow," said Stacey Montooth, the public relations / community information officer for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.

Posted by Honor Flight Nevada on Friday, November 11, 2016

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The itinerary on Friday includes a stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The veterans have been asked to place a wreath at the site.

"We brought one all the way from Nevada, from Pyramid Lake," Montooth said, referring to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. "The elders there made a special one."

The veterans are also headed to the National Museum of the American Indian for a reception at 4:30pm on Friday afternoon. Funds are being raised to place a memorial to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans at the facility on the National Mall.

The Native Nations Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2017, helps support the long-awaited initiative. The goal is to complete the memorial by Veterans Day in 2020.

The all Native honor flight in Nevada on November 10, 2016. Photo by Reno-Tahoe Airport

"When the memorial is unveiled, we will recognize for the first time on a national scale the enduring and distinguished service of Native Americans in every branch of the U.S. military," the museum said in an inaugural ball announcement on Friday.

According to the Department of Defense, Native Americans serve in the military at higher rates per capita than any other racial or ethnic group. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony alone counts 55 living veterans and 83 who have passed on. Three are on active duty.

The Native honor flight is scheduled to return to Nevada on Sunday. A traditional color guard and powwow dancers will welcome them at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

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