“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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December 5, 2022

Employee Veterans Recognized for Service at Special Ceremony 

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Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community employee veterans were recognized at a gathering at the Two Waters complex on November 10 for their service to the country in the United States armed forces. 

“I am privileged and honored to [be here] this morning,” said Glen Law, SRPMIC Administration director, who was the master of ceremonies for the morning’s events. He said there are many within the Community’s workforce who have served in the military.

Among them are Assistant Community Managers Lena Jackson-Eckert and Doran Dalton, as well as department directors Terry Dooley (Internal Audit), Steve Haydukovich (Human Resources), Joseph Remitera (Health & Human Services) and Melvin Deer (Senior Services). 

Council Representative Diane Enos offered the invocation and a few words of appreciation to the veteran employees in attendance. “I want to thank every one of you here who is a veteran,” said Enos. “Your dedication to our Community means more to us than you will ever know.” 

Enos said SRPMIC employee veterans “have dedicated so much of their time to helping make the Community a better place, and we are thankful for the things that are available to the people. We are thankful to be alive in a beautiful world. Today, we offer our prayers and thankfulness. We are so thankful for those people, both men and women, who went to war and protect all of us.” 

Afterward, SRPMIC Vice-President Ricardo Leonard recited the Pledge of Allegiance and thanked the combined Salt River Police and Fire Department honor guard for presenting the colors, as well as the Arizona National Guard 108th Army Band for providing the music. 

“It’s really good to see that we have such a large group of veterans this morning,” said SRPMIC President Martin Harvier. He said that it is important to recognize both the Community’s veterans and those veterans who are employed by SRPMIC. 

“It’s important to … gather to recognize our veterans. Some were told to go, and some volunteered to go into the military and serve,” said Harvier. He said that it is important to remember our veterans for the freedoms they have fought to preserve and the things we are able to enjoy because of their selfless service. 

“We thank our men and women for serving our country and for the freedoms that we enjoy. A lot of the things we take for granted, so [this] is very important that we come together and recognize them,” said Harvier. 

Taking from his faith, Harvier recalled Job from the Old Testament, who had everything before him and was tested. Like Job, many of the veterans have been tested and tried through their experience, and like Job, they come out pure as gold for having given so much to secure the Community’s and the nation’s freedoms. 

SRPMIC Community Manager Bryan Meyers, a retired member of the U.S. Army, spoke on the significance of the event to veterans. Meyers thanked the SRPMIC leadership for their support of the event and his service. 

“The military has been a very, very important part of my life. What I’d like for you to do is reflect on your own journeys, and your family members and their experiences,” said Meyers. He said the military has been part of his life for 40 years. His father was in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s and 1960s. 

“You know, 40 years ago I signed on the dotted line to serve in the U.S. Army … 40 years ago, where did all that time go?” said Meyers. He said his years of service will always be a special part of his life and that his family support at home was equally important. 

“We don’t think about the sacrifices on our support base and by our families and what’s going through their minds and that stress,” Meyers said. After his retirement, those things became even more special for him, and it is important to recognize the families who keep everything together at home.

Before the event concluded, a roll call was held allowing SRPMIC employee veterans and employees with veteran family members to come up and share their branch and years in the service. Afterward, the veterans each received a special backpack, cup and T-shirt.