'I bled in Iraq and you're going to threaten to shoot me on a bridge in North Dakota?' Laguna Pueblo U.S. Veteran Brandee Paisano

Veterans here say there are a number of reasons drawing them in, including standing up for Indigenous people, environmentalism and even seeing an opportunity to put specialized survival skills to use.

Brandee Paisano, for one, chokes up when she describes why she is here. She's an Indigenous U.S. navy veteran from the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, who was raised by a single father who did two tours in Vietnam.

"I signed up to serve my country and my people and I did that overseas," she said. "I didn't think I'd have to do it here, on this land, so here I am. This is what I need to be doing."

Those who oppose the pipeline say it could threaten drinking water and harm sacred sites. Others say it is a safer way to move crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

Paisano said she believed perhaps the veterans could even potentially be a mechanism for people here to find common ground with law enforcement.

"We probably served together, you know?"

Veteran Brandee Paisano says she has an eight-year-old son and part of the reason she is at the Oceti Sakowin Camp is to make him proud.


Responses to "Pueblo U.S. Veteran Brandee Paisano: Why I, a veteran, joined the fight at Standing Rock"

  1. Unknown says:

    Thank you for caring and helping.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for continuing to serve America.

  3. Unknown says:

    Thank you for your service then and now!

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