Why are Navajo government workers afraid to openly speak out?!

My feature photo is “Two American soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade help Alfred Rascon, a four-time wounded medic from a reconnaissance platoon. Thirty years later, Rascon received the Medal of Honor from President Clinton. Rascon was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. This action took place during the climax of Operation Silver City in the fight for LZ (Landing Zone) Zulu in the jungles of War Zone D in March, 1966. My friend, Paul Brinkley-Rogers, who was Vietnam War correspondent, shared the photo, which is one of 7 extraordinary black and white images shot by Vietnam war photographer Tim Page from an as yet unpublished book that explores the hundreds of images from his many contact sheets. The images Tim has selected have never appeared before in book form and have never been published. Tim has kindly given permission for me to show these 7 images at my Facebook page. I have also seen the contents of the manuscript and I can tell you that it is remarkable and will forever stand as one of the finest collections of combat photography from the war years. An edition of 9 handmade books, boxed and containing a silver gelatin print also will be available. Tim’s recollection of the details shown in the various scenes is phenomenal. The text makes use of the astonishing amount of ephemera accumulated by Page during the war years. Readers will get to see both prints and all the images on the contact sheets. Working title for the book is “Nam Contact.” Tim has nine books to his credit including Tim Page’s Nam, Page after Page, Derailed in Uncle Ho’s Victory Garden, Mid-Term Report, The Mindful Moment, and the book Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina, which he co-edited in 1997 with the late Horst Faas. Tim, who was born and raised in England, lives in Australia.

As I was looking at the photos shared by Paul Brinkley-Rogers, I thought about how it was our Dine’ Vietnam War VETERANS that made Changes for the Benefit of Dine’ VETERANS and their Families. But they are still suffering from Agent ORANGE and so are their Families. May Peace Prevail on Mother Earth!

I remember years ago when I was attending a Navajo Nation Council Budget & Finance Committee. The Budget & Finance Chairman was former Navajo Council Delegate Thomas Boyd. The B&F was talking about funding for Veterans. And as the Committee was talking, the Vietnam Veterans asked to speak. And of course, the B&F process didn’t allow the Public to be part of the B&F debate. I wish I could remember the Vietnam Veteran who stood up and asked Boyd and the B&F if any of them were Vietnam “Combat” Veterans, which meant that they were Vietnam Veterans who fought…not a Peace Time Vietnam Veteran or a Vietnam Veteran who didn’t go to Vietnam and Fought.

Boyd and the B&F members all shook their heads No. The Navajo Vietnam Veteran told Boyd & the B&F that He & the rest of the Vietnam Combat Veterans were War Veterans and They EARNED the RIGHT to SPEAK!!

I always hear from our Navajo elected officials that our VETERANS fought & died for our Freedom of Speech….So why are so many of our Navajo Nation government employees, who are primarily Navajo women, who are also Single Heads of Household, afraid to Speak Out about how the Navajo government workers are being Unprotected. Where is the Written Report from Nez & Lizer about how many of our Navajo government employees have been tested? Where are the Photos of our Navajo government employees in Navajo government offices so we can see if their desks are SAFELY distanced apart?

Single Head of Household means the majority of our Navajo government workers return to their children after working. Is Nez & Lizer PROTECTING these Single Heads of Households so their CHILDREN are SAFE? Community members of the young Navajo Public Safety office worker, who was killed by COVID-19, was a Single Head of Household. When she died, her CHILDREN were left without a PARENT.

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