The KCA Indian Veterans Organization (KCAIVO) is readying to conduct its 4th Annual Veterans Powwow on Saturday.
The event will be in the Lawton Expo Center at the Comanche County Fairgrounds, 920 S. Sheridan. Clifford Takawana, KCAIVO representative, said all are welcome to attend. There is reason to celebrate all Americans who served, male and female, Native and non-Native, he said.
“This is a true celebration of our American veterans, our warriors who helped to protect our way life at the risk of their own life,” he said. “This year’s event will include the recognition of Native veterans from the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Tribe of Southwest Oklahoma, and also, this year, will include some veterans who are not from the KCA tribes, but from a new category of ‘at-large,’ to include all veterans whatever their race or gender.”
The Fort Sill 77th Army Band will render some patriotic songs for all to enjoy. Among songs they’ll perform will be the songs of all branches of services: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard, Takawana said.
“This is always a favorite of our vets and members of each branch get to stand and help sing and cheer,” he said. “There might be a little healthy rivalry when this takes place, but you can bet when all songs are concluded, they cheer for each other.”
A song will also be performed for those veterans who paid the supreme sacrifice, those that did not come home, Takawana said.
“’Taps’ will be rendered at the close of the band’s performance in a way that brought tears to this veteran’s eyes and many more last year,” he said. “You need to be there.”
Last year, members of the Combat Veterans Organization participated in the opening, and the grand entry color guard, “which was spectacular,” Takawana said. Some even gourd danced with the organization’s Native warriors and enjoyed themselves very much, he said.
“They will be on hand once again,” he said.
Food vendors and Native arts and crafts vendors will be available to show and sell their crafts.
The event begins at 1 p.m. with opening ceremonies and posting of colors, Takawana said. The women warriors and auxiliary will perform the Victory Dance at 1:30 p.m., followed by gourd dancing at 2:30 p.m.
A tribute to warriors (honorees) will be at 5 p.m., followed by supper break, Takawana said.
“All friends and families are urged to come out and help cheer for this year’s class of honored veterans,” he said. “Show them how proud you of them and for their dedicated service to our country and to our people.”
Dancing resumes at 6 p.m. and grand entry color guard and entrance of all dancers will be at 7 p.m.
“This year we are glad to welcome the members of the Fort Sill Apache War Dance Singers who will perform their songs at 8 p.m.,” he said. “This is a very special event, one we are excited to present.”
After these program items there will be time for social dancing and intertribal dancing for “all to enjoy,” Takawana said.
“Ladies, ladies bring a shawl and come out and dance, it will be fun,” he said. “Even non-Natives are welcomed to participate.”