Published February 4, 2016
OMAHA—Wounded Warriors Family Support has launched a new program to support Native American veterans who need transportation and transition assistance on their reservations.
Wounded Warriors Family Support has teamed with the Office of Tribal Government Relations at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the new Native American Veterans Support, Transition and Resources (NAVSTaR) program. This program will ensure that Native American veterans, especially those who are combat wounded, are helped in a meaningful way.
“As a youngster growing up in New Mexico, I learned first-hand about the Navajo Code Talkers and their contribution to Marines during the brutal island hopping campaign in the South Pacific during World War II,” said Col. John Folsom, USMCR (Ret.), founder and president of Wounded Warriors Family Support. “I have had the honor to serve with Native Americans during my 30 years of service. We have a firm commitment to support our Native American veterans, especially tribes that are the most isolated and poor.”
So far, Wounded Warriors Family Support has provided Ford vehicles to the Blackfeet Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Three Affiliated Tribes.
Last November, Wounded Warriors Family Support donated a 2016 Ford Transit Connect to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in an effort to provide safe and dependable transportation to VA facilities. The donation was in memory of Lance Cpl. Brett Lundstrom, who was killed January 7, 2006, while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 6thMarine Regiment in Iraq.
“Brett was returned to Pine Ridge and honored with a warrior’s funeral,” Folsom said. “I appreciate his life and service, especially given the backdrop of the crushing poverty of the Pine Ridge reservation.”
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