BILLINGS- Each year, the Native American Achievement Center at Montana State University-Billings invites the community to participate in the building of a veterans medicine wheel.
On Friday, the ninth annual event, the wheel was built on the lawn. This was so students could experience honoring and respecting veterans, those killed in action and current members of the military.
Participants were encouraged to write the names of veterans they know on rocks and place them in the medicine wheel as a dedication.
“We acknowledge that when our veterans go off to war, when they return they are out of balance because of the demands of being a warrior, and that they too must put their lives back together in balance, but we also do that as a community,” said Reno Charette, director of the Native American Achievement Center. “With that philosophy in mind, we want people to be aware that the restoration of our veterans is a job for all of us. We must help with that in order to be a healthy community.”
A roll call was also made after the building of the Medicine Wheel, giving those who laid a rock down and wrote someone’s name on it a chance to say that name out loud.
“The idea is that the sound of each person saying the name out loud, allows the sounds to travel into the universe and find and connect with the spirit of the person they are remembering,” Charette said.