Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania - NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) held a National American Indian Heritage Month Program for military and civilian personnel in Mechanicsburg.
Ms. Lynn Kohl, Vice Commander, NAVSUP WSS, spoke about the theme for National American Indian Heritage Month observance in her opening remarks. "The theme of this year's observance, Serving Our Nations, was chosen by the Society of American Indian Government Employees to highlight the contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the progress and success of their tribal nations, as well as the United States."
She later added, "During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor their legacy and we recommit to strengthening our nation-to-nation partnerships."
The program featured remarks and a display of Native American Artifacts by Ms. Carla Messinger and Mr. Allan Messinger, from Native American Heritage Programs. Ms. Messinger founded Native American Heritage Programs to present a picture of early American Indian life that refutes stereotypes and develops an understanding of Native American culture.
During their presentation, Mr. Messinger spoke about the military service of Native Americans. He commented that, "Native Americans have always participated in the military, often in numbers higher than other ethnic groups." He went on to speak about the service of Native Americans beginning in the revolutionary war, and continuing through today.
Ms. Messinger modeled Native American attire, and talked about the influence of Native Americans on our current culture. "You can see some of the contributions in your life that you don't even think about. You live here on the land so you speak the language. Towns, rivers, trees and roads still have native names."
At the conclusion of their presentation, the Messingers took questions from the audience and were available to speak about the artifacts they had on display.
A field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS) is the U.S. Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. NAVSUP WSS provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics. There are more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel employed at its two Pennsylvania sites. The NAVSUP WSS Philadelphia site supports aircraft, while its Mechanicsburg site supports ships and submarines.