Oglala Lakota veteran Eric True Blood has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and in the U.S. Army. Courtesy photo

Native Sun News Today: Eric True Blood, Oglala Warrior

Part Two of a series | Part One

SHERIDAN, Wyoming -- During Eric True Blood’s second enlistment, while going through basic Army training at Fort Carson, Colorado, he trained for infantry, though he most likely could have taught that course. Then, he completed Airborne School, gaining his jump wings. After that, he was selected as a small number of soldiers from “Charlie Company” for sniper school, also successfully completing that course and then assigned related duty, too much for many soldiers.

Then, he was quickly deployed to Afghanistan, part of an effort to build a positive rapport with locals in the war against terrorism, “just” as he emphasizes, a "‘team leader"’ conducting daily foot patrols into the villages. It was, he explained, hard to tell where their sympathies laid: Taliban or American, but during that time he became especially sympathetic to the children and villagers who also were victims to IEDs, those anonymous weapons having no sympathy. He did that until the day of his own deadly IED encounter.

After a year of successful rehab, True Blood requested to stay on active duty. A marksman, he was selected for the Army’s Para Olympic Shooting Team, an instructor and competitive shooter, representing the Army, but competing against international top shooters, including civilians. The following three years were “awesome”, he said, involving world travel to compete in shooting competitions, he in the air pistol and free pistol events.

Fate, however, intervened again – divorce. Thus, after 12 successful years in the military, by then only in his early 30’s, he was once again honorably discharged in order to seek and obtain full custody of his two young daughters, Averie (then four years old) and Favel (then a year and a half). Returning to Sheridan, he since has been a full-time single stay-at-home father.

“As a result,” he remarked, “I have enormous respect for single parents” he commented. “It is very hard.”

In additional to maintaining an immaculate home; the girls are every well-dressed, raised on a low-sugar diet (primarily lean meat and vegetables), successful in school and especially polite.

“Eric runs his home like a miniature loving boot camp,” his mother Cheryl jokes. “|He’s even managed to teach me fold clothes right – military style, that is.”

Though not legally required to do so, True Blood ferries his two daughters to Casper, Wyoming, twice each month, a (200 hundred-mile round trip) so that they can spend a weekend with their birth mother, now remarried and also doing well. “They need to have a relationship with her,” he simply notes.

NATIVE SUN NEWS TODAY

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Contact Clara Caufield at acheyennevoice@gmail.com

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