2022 Native American Heritage Month

Staff Sgt. William Cage Little Bear Cloud

B Company, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, Arkansas Army National Guard

Cloud joined the Guard in 2012, motivated to serve his country after witnessing 9/11 as a child. His most memorable mission was in the Horn of Africa and Central Africa. "After learning what my ancestors had gone through and endured, this observance is a statement that the American people can come together after such horrific history and work alongside each other."

Master Sgt. Rasia Delin

Joint Force Headquarters, Louisiana Air National Guard

Delin, a Guardsman since 2003, has served in Iraq. "I appreciate Native American Heritage month because it is showing the progress this country is making in being inclusive and allowing everyone to learn about the diverse cultures this country has."

1st Lt. Rhea Goulet

3662nd Support Maintenance Company, North Dakota Army National Guard

Goulet, (right in image), a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota, says a highlight of her almost five years of service was training at the Training Sustainment Center at Camp Dodge, Iowa, in 2020. "Native Americans have served in this nation's military with bravery. This month allows us to reflect on these men's and women's contributions, past and present." Goulet encourages "those reading this to understand and research the importance of September 30th, Orange Shirt Day, and the significance of the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW) Movement."

Spc. Sherry Heard

241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Louisiana National Guard

Heard, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, joined the Guard in 2009 and has deployed to Iraq. She said this month's observance "brings recognition to the Native Americans."

Tech. Sgt. Dylan G. Manning

189th Maintenance Squadron, Arkansas Air National Guard

Manning, a Potawatomi, has served in the military since 2012. "I thought it was a constructive use of my time. I had some growing up to do before college." His most memorable mission was in Utqiagvik, Alaska, formerly known as Barrow. He says this month's observance is "a great opportunity to learn about some tribes’ members many haven’t heard of."

Maj. Dayna Sanders

Defensive Cyber Operations Element, Kentucky Army National Guard

Sanders, (left in image), a Guard member since 2007, is technical lead for the Defensive Cyber Operations Branch at the National Guard Bureau and has deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota, and Goulet's aunt. "Native American Heritage Month provides us an opportunity to not only raise cultural awareness, but to celebrate and share the aspects of our culture that were passed down from our ancestors."

Staff Sgt. Nika Saunders

38th Troop Command, Alaska Army National Guard

Saunders, a Guard member since 2010, is a Northern Cheyenne from Montana and Tohono O’odham from Arizona. "I’m thankful for those who have paved the way for us Native American and Alaskan Native Soldiers and am eternally grateful and appreciative for those who have served and sacrificed their lives. Hearing their stories is always a great honor and privilege."

Tech. Sgt. Tracie Winston

189th Maintenance Operations Flight, Arkansas Air National Guard

Winston joined the Arkansas Air Guard in 2016. A highlight of her service was flying over the Grand Canyon en route to Tucson, Arizona. Winston's heritage derives from the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin, the Stockbridge Munsee Tribe and the Cherokee Nation. She says this month is "a time to reflect and be proud of a heritage that has contributed much to our country and remember that I get to continue to contribute to a heritage for those who will come after me."