Saturday, July 20, 2024

Patriot Tour will return to Tségháhoodzání

By Geri Hongeva-Camarillo

On Saturday, May 25, 2024, the Patriot Tour will return to Window Rock Veterans Memorial Tribal Park. The Navajo Hopi Honor have been asked to host the Flag Transfer Ceremony at 8:45am.

The Patriot Tour began in Kansas on May 18 with the American flag traveling to all 50 states in 115 days. The tour is coordinated by the Nation of Patriots and this year, Bill Sherer, CEO and Executive Director of NOP will be in attendance in Window Rock, Arizona, when the flag is transferred from a New Mexico flag bearer to the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders, which will then escort the flag to Overgaard, Arizona.

“The public is welcome to join them on this journey to honor past, present and fallen members of our Armed forces. You can also follow us in any mode of transportation,” explained Anthony Caniglia, the regional commander of the Nation of Patriots Arizona.

Nation of Patriots works alongside other veteran organizations and support groups to identify veterans that need financial assistance and are encountering a hardship. They have assisted veterans by helping with medical payments, credit card debt, car repairs, educational expenses, home improvement repairs, and more.

In order for a veteran to be eligible for grant assistance through the NOP organization, they must meet three pieces of criteria: 1) must have been honorably discharged, 2) must have a VA Disability Award rating of 50% or more, and 3) must have at least one (1) legal dependent.

“This year marks our 15th year anniversary. We strive to connect ourselves with other veteran support organizations to share our mission and provide the support and resources necessary to ensure our veterans are receiving the help they need,” Caniglia said.

This year, Levon Smith, one of the active honor riders for the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders will be the flag bearer from Window Rock to Overgaard as part of the Patriot Tour.

Smith is Kinyaa’áanii, born for Dibé Łizhinii. His maternal grandfather is Tódích’íi’nii and his paternal grandfather is Honágháahnii. He grew up in Window Rock and is originally from Oak Springs, Arizona. He graduated from St. Michael Indian School, class of 1986. Smith is currently employed with the Navajo Nation Gaming Regulatory. He is married to Marita Smith for 28 years. Together they have been active in supporting NHHR.

Smith first started riding when he was 13 years old on a dirt bike. His first motorcycle was a Honda, then he got a Harley Davidson Softail Slim 2013, and currently he has a 2020 HD Ultra Limited Touring bike. Smith was part of the Patriot Tour in 2023.

“The American flag means a lot to me. Our Navajo Code Talkers, our Native men and women fought and died to protect our freedom. The American flag symbolizes our freedom, our pride, honor and responsibility,” Smith explained.

Smith added, the long-distance motorcycle rides we’ve done this year was the Navajo Code Talker quilt dedication ceremony at Camp Pendleton on March 6, 2024, honoring our warriors who used the Navajo language in WWII. I am looking forward too many more honor rides to support our veterans.

The Patriot Tour is for everyone, you have to be on a motorcycle, you can be a part of the “flag transfer” on Navajo Nation this Saturday May 25. For more information visit: www.NavajoHopiHonorRiders.com.


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Window Rock Weather

Fair

66.9 F (19.4 C)
Dewpoint: 46.0 F (7.8 C)
Humidity: 47%
Wind: calm
Pressure: 30.29

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