DCentric » Military http://dcentric.wamu.org Race, Class, The District. Wed, 16 May 2012 20:20:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Copyright © WAMU Geronimo’s Great-Grandson On Bin Laden Code Name http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/05/geronimos-great-grandson-on-bin-laden-code-name/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2011/05/geronimos-great-grandson-on-bin-laden-code-name/#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 19:56:31 +0000 Elahe Izadi http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=6599 Continue reading ]]>

F. A. Rinehart/Getty Images

Chief Geronimo of the Apache tribe of Native Americans photographed in captivity in 1898.

Geronimo’s great-grandson slammed the U.S. government Thursday for giving Osama bin Laden “Geronimo” as a code name.

Harlyn Geronimo submitted testimony to the Senate Commission on Indian Affairs for its hearing today on racist stereotypes of Native Americans. In his statement, he demanded that President Barack Obama or Defense Secretary Robert Gates give:

a full explanation of how this disgraceful use of my great grandfather’s name occurred, a full apology for the grievous insult after all that Native Americans have suffered and the (removing) from all the records of the U.S. government this use of the name Geronimo. Leaving only for history the fact this insult to Native Americans occurred in all its pity.

As we pointed out yesterday, some Native Americans feel particularly insulted by this code name given that indigenous Americans serve in the military at disproportionately high rates. Harlyn Geronimo is himself a veteran, having been a soldier in the Vietnam War. What’s more, so is his father, who Harlyn says served during World War II and was on Omaha Beach during D-Day.

See more of Haryln’s testimony below:

Whether it was intended only to name the military operation to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden or to give Osama Bin Laden himself the code name Geronimo, either was an outrageous insult and mistake. And it is clear from the military records released that the name Geronimo was used at times by military personnel involved for both the military operation and for Osama Bin Laden himself.

Obviously to equate Geronimo with Osama Bin Laden is an unpardonable slander of Native America and its most famous leader in history.

And to call the operation to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden by the name Geronimo is such a subversion of history that it also defames a great human spirit and Native American leader. For Geronimo himself was the focus of precisely such an operation by the U.S. military, an operation that assured Geronimo a lasting place in American and human history.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (1967, Volume 10, page 362) has described the real Operation Geronimo in the following words:

During this last campaign, which lasted 18 months, no fewer than 5,000 troops and 500 Indian auxiliaries had been employed in the apprehension of a band of Apaches comprising only 35 men, 8 boys and 101 women, who operated in two countries without bases of supply. Army and civilian losses totaled 95; Mexican losses were heavy, but unknown; Geronimo’s losses were 13 killed, but none from direct U.S. Army action.

Geronimo was not killed and was not captured. After the Chiricahua Band of Apaches were taken from reservations in Arizona Territory and New Mexico to Ft. Marion, Florida, Geronimo and his warriors saw no chance of reuniting with their people except by surrender with the promise that they would be reunited with their tribe.

General Miles promised: “There is plenty of timber, water, and grass in the land to which I will send you. You will live with your tribe and with your family. If you agree to this treaty you shall see your family within five days.” None of the promises were kept.

Nearly half the Chiricahua band, the band of Cochise, died in Florida and later in Alabama within several years before being moved to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Geronimo was held a prisoner of war for the remaining 23 years of his life, though he was a major attraction at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904 and was second only to President Elect Theodore Roosevelt in the applause received along the Inaugural Parade route of 1905.

But Geronimo died a prisoner of war at Ft. Sill in February 1909. His bodily remains, if none were removed as has been alleged, are to this day in the Ft. Sill Apache Prisoner of War Cemetery despite his repeated requests to return to the headwaters of the Gila River in the Gila National Forest and within what was the first forest wilderness area designated in the U.S., in western New Mexico.

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No, he doesn’t need bus fare to Quantico. http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/11/no-he-doesnt-need-bus-fare-to-quantico/ http://dcentric.wamu.org/2010/11/no-he-doesnt-need-bus-fare-to-quantico/#comments Wed, 17 Nov 2010 21:40:57 +0000 Anna http://dcentric.wamu.org/?p=2133 Continue reading ]]>


OCS Graduates at Quantico.

I’m proud to be a member of a Military family, so this post over at Prince of Petworth immediately got my attention– one of his intrepid readers managed to photograph an alleged scam-artist on the Metro:

He asked for $60 for a bus ticket back to Quantico…This was on the Red Line…the elements of the story were that he was away from base, he had been mugged or pickpocketed (could not hear which), and he needed $60 to get back. He got off the train at Judiciary Square saying something about needing to catch the train back the other direction, but I think he may have seen me take the picture. Immediately after the scammer got off the train, there was another man who was wearing his uniform who realized what just happened and told the woman that she shouldn’t have given him the money, because if he was actually in the military the scammer would have gone to the fellow military guy first thing.”

I spoke to two Veterans, one from the Air Force and one from the Army about this situation, to find out what would actually happen to someone in the Military if they were stranded. Bottom line? They wouldn’t be panhandling for bus fare, ever, so beware:

I would ask to borrow someone’s phone or ask them to make a call for me. I’ve done that before, even in foreign countries. If there’s another member of the Military, I’d go to them, first. If not, then I’d ask someone else. I’d never ask for money. Someone in that situation would not need it. You’re supposed to call your sponsor or first Sargent, whoever your point of contact is…he’s preying on people’s sympathy.

Even if you’re new to the military you still have a point of contact. I was never without one. In his case, they would’ve had someone come out and pick him up, because he’s local. It’s just Quantico to D.C. Bottom line is, no one in the military would be in this situation. Somebody would come pick you up. Worse comes to worst, go to law enforcement if you’ve been mugged and have no I.D. They will always help.

The retired Army Officer said:

There is an annex one mile from the Pentagon. He could’ve taken the metro to that. He could’ve asked for metro fare, if he was desperate and without funds. Asking for money to catch a bus back to base? It doesn’t happen that way, period.

It’s unfortunate that this man is exploiting the public’s sympathies this way. According to the comment thread on Prince of Petworth, he’s a familiar sight around town. The positive way to look at it is that it’s nice  that Washingtonians are so willing to help someone who seems to be in need.

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