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    Oklahoma Guardsman receives prestigious SAIGE award

    Oklahoma Guardsman receives prestigious SAIGE award

    Photo By Leanna Maschino | Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Capt. Warren Queton, of Blanchard, Oklahoma, receives...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Leanna Maschino 

    Oklahoma National Guard

    CATOOSA, Okla. – From atop the 18th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s “Sky Room”, members and supporters of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) recently gathered to honor recipients of the 2016 SAIGE Military Meritorious Service Award.

    The accolade was presented to recognize individuals for their accomplishments and dedication within their tribe, community and workplace during the 13th Annual SAIGE National Training Conference last week. The Military Meritorious Service Award is presented to those who have greatly supported the DoD mission, overseas contingency operations, or whose attributes best epitomize the qualities and core values of their respective military service or other DoD component.

    One of those recipients was the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Capt. Warren Queton, of Blanchard, Oklahoma, a first-time recipient of the award.

    “I’m humbled and honored,” said Queton. “To me as an American Indian, there are people out there that have done a lot more, but I’m trying my best to do the best I can for American Indian people and the Guard I work for.”

    Queton serves as an Oklahoma National Guardsman and full-time federal technician for the Guard. He is a support operations transportation officer with 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and a food program manager as a federal technician. Queton serves not only his state and country, but also his three tribes: Cherokee, Kiowa and Seminole from which he draws his heritage.

    “I don’t just serve American Indians, I serve everybody (by being in the Guard),” said Queton. “To be in this position, in my role serving in the Guard now, it’s very special.”

    SAIGE is a national non-profit organization that advocates for American Indian and Alaska Native people in the government workforce by providing them the necessary tools in their efforts to reach their full potential; a potential with a clear path for Queton.

    While speaking passionately of his heritage and service to tribe and country, Queton said American Indians serve more in the military per capita than any other ethnic race in the United States; an honor for him to hold.

    “For American Indian veterans to be recognized is very special to me,” said Queton. “I think we get over looked sometimes, or people don’t recognize that we have American Indians serving in the military, when we actually have a lot more than any other ethnic race.”

    For Queton, being presented the SAIGE award is not about recognition, but about the importance of service, fitting this year’s conference theme of “Serving Our Nations”, and preserving the Warrior Spirit within the American Indian community.

    “These veterans need to find a place back in their communities,” said Queton. “It’s good to acknowledge this and acknowledge that Warrior Spirit that our American Indian veterans retain.”

    In total, six service members and civilians received the award, and three represented the National Guard from the states of Connecticut, Oklahoma and South Dakota.



    Date Taken: 06.09.2016
    Date Posted: 06.15.2016 16:51
    Story ID: 201251
    Location: CATOOSA, OK, US 
    Hometown: BLANCHARD, OK, US

    Web Views: 503
    Downloads: 1