WWll Native Vet And His Dream
Ware was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma on September 29th, 1922. He was a member of the Kiowa Tribe and a member of the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society. He served during WWll as a tech sergeant and aerial gunner on B-17s in the Army Air Corps.
Ware had put 33 combat missions behind him, by the time he returned home. He was highly decorated for his service and proudly displayed four Bronze stars, a Distinguished Flying
Cross and a Purple Heart.
He never lost his satisfaction for having served his country and in recent years that he discovered he had one mission left to do. One day while sitting at a restaurant with other Native Americans veterans, the group began discussing a blueprint for creating a national memorial dedicated to American Indian veterans.
The concept, which was created in 1996, began to take shape as part of a site plan at Steele Indian School Park at Third Street and McDowell Road in Phoenix which opened in 2001 where space has been dedicated for the memorial.
About $70,000 has been raised by a committee working on the project said committee member Loren Tapahe, publisher of the “Arizona Native Scene”, a Mesa-based magazine.
“Speaking of Ware, Tapahe said, “he was a vibrant, hard-working man who didn’t take any guff from anyone.” Now the people who supported Ware want to complete his dream.
This memorial will be a national memorial for all Native Americans – male and female – who fought even prior to WWl.
Ware and his family will be honored during a program at 6pm, November 11th at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
Pat Viss, Ware’s neighbor, said she will remember not only his passion for the memorial but his kindness as a friend and neighbor. “He would bang on door and often stop to being fruits and vegetables he had picked up at a roadside farm. He had a commanding presence about him and I can still feel his endearing spirit.”
Information about the memorial is available at (602) 448-0260 or by e-mailing www.aivmo.org.
This article from “The Arizona Republic”, bylined Connie Cone Sexton, has been edited for content and space.
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