Barbara Crandell is paying tribute to her fellow Native Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces.

 "I just wanted to honor my brothers and sisters. I wanted to honor all the people in West Virginia," Crandell said.

At 87-years-old, she is still sharp as a tack. Over the past ten months, she made it her mission to put a memorial at the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton. At Saturday’s unveiling, she placed the flags for her family members, including her husband, who served in the military.

"Our family fought under the flag of the people who took our land but we still live here and we had a certain amount of freedom. not as much as we would have liked to have," Crandell said.

Mark Routier calls Crandell 'grandmother'. He helped her in her efforts with the memorial and said it is important to keep the history of Native Americans alive.

"It’s all about recognition and the heritage that I and so many people are very proud of," Routier said.

The memorial now stands near the Blue Star Memorial in the cemetery. He says he hopes it is a reminder of what Native Americans gave to their country.

"It’s just a very rewarding experience to be part of this placement honoring of the stone honoring our Native Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces. It’s very, very important," Routier said.

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Responses to "New memorial honors Native Americans who served in military"

  1. I understand that Indians serve in the armed forces at one of the highest rates of any US demographic.

  2. SUE says:


  3. So many served...and you wonder with their history...Why? Because in spite of a history of injustices, they still believed this was a land worth fighting for.

  4. Unknown says:

    ABOUT TIME !! how do I share on FB , plse?

  5. Cheryl says:

    I agree with Sue. There should be a wall put up with their names on it. Thank you all for your service and for your sacrifices!! And God bless you all!

  6. Unknown says:

    So glad this is finally happening but it doesn't seem as impressive as some of the other memorials. Thank you for serving and sacrificing to keep our country free. God Bless you and your families.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why does it say Indian?....and not First Nation?

  8. Unknown says:

    Just "Native Americans." The real Indians are our brothers and sisters from India.

  9. Unknown says:

    Beautiful, Native Americans are not given the proper respect they deserve. The European colonists have done nothing but make then villains.

  10. Unknown says:

    Nice, and about time but wondering, shouldn't it read Native People or something similar to that?

  11. Unknown says:

    A tribute most definitely deserved and should be more.

  12. lea says:

    A fitting tribute to those that valiantly served their country.

  13. As has already been said by Sue. The Code Talkers (Wind Talkers) contributed to the Allied War Efforts BIGLY. Being able to send messages that couldn't be cracked was a huge advantage.
    The Indians fought in the US Armed Forces, because it was either fight or speak German for all Americans!!!

  14. jayjay358 says:

    My greacht grandfather served in WW1. Charles E. Bloodgood

  15. Unknown says:

    My Husband is full blooded Choctaw served 8 years Army.
    Cannot the help he needs.
    Cannot get funds froom reservation because he was adopted at
    a 1 /12
    Cannot get his adoption records oened
    We need help tell us where to turn

  16. Please remember all our Tribal veterans who used their languages to end many of these wars. 34 American Indian Languages were used by the Military starting in WWI, then WII and highest % of any race of people per capita historically at 22% of our people. documented by the Dept of Defense.

  17. Unknown says:

    I am a half-breed. I served for 12 years because this was my country, even if the land was taken and my ancestors were murdered and mistreated, it was and still is MY country.As far as being called an Indian, native American, whatever, just don't call me Chief

  18. Unknown says:

    Amazing memorial and long overdue

  19. This is about time! Thank you to Barbara Crandell for this Memorial to a people who suffered great injustices yet fought for this country's freedom. We owe them the honor they so rightfully deserve.

  20. The Choctaw Code Talkers were inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 2012. The bio at the Oklahoma History Center—

  21. Unknown says:

    some "Europeans" were escaping persecution. We're not all bad.

  22. Sara Shaw says:

    N8tive Pride & Proud of it
    1 Nation 1 Tribe

    As for us n8tives that r born N raised on the Rez nobody will never understand us n8tives. We just stand Strong N carry on kuz r life's r a price of war.. Always have to fight for whats are's water,family's, respect. Luv is the strongest N this path is the hardest. N just kuz they're white They not always Right..

  23. My great grandpa was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian and I support any one that served in the military

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