Cara Marie Country: A Native Veteran by Kane Walker


    My Grandma, Cara Marie Country, went to serve her country on Sept 25, 1968, during the Vietnam War. Sadly, she passed away about four months before I was born so I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, however, my mom was very close to her. In this article, I interviewed my mother in order to get a clearer picture of what my grandma did to serve her country.

    My mom was very close to her, up until her death. She talked greatly about her but now as much about her military career. This assignment was a good conversation point to know more about my grandma. I thought up about ten questions to ask mom and here are the results.

    The first question I asked was, “How long did she serve?”. In the photo, you can see her rank which is Private first class, and privates get that rank when in service for a year. My mom told me she was in for two years and was honorably discharged. The second question was what her rank was. In the picture, you can clearly see it’s Private First Class.

     Question number three was one I thought of a lot, Did she see any combat? My mom answered no, thank goodness. She was stationed state-side and she took care of the injured soldiers sent back. The fourth question I asked was about her duties as a nurse, in which the reply was obvious. She took care of the wounded soldiers.

    This question requires some backstory, my mother mentioned a year or two ago that she heard that she was a bartender during her time in the military. I ask her if she really was a bartender. My mom clarifies that she was in fact, a waitress for an NCO(Non-Commissioned Officers) club. She doesn’t know if this was during or after her enlistment.

    This sixth question, “Are there any more pictures with her uniform?”, was another one I had questions about. The one provided was the only one I can find of her and it is of low quality. My mom said she couldn’t find any but they could be more out there. The seventh question, “How has her time in the military, affected her?” my mom responded that she had PTSD, from the wounded soldiers she saw.

    I asked if she knew any other native women from the tribe who joined the nurses, and she said there were three more from the tribe. So my grandma wasn’t alone when she was working. The ninth question, “Did she enjoy her time in the military?”. She did, she met a lot of different people, and got to travel a lot. Presumably somewhere close to Puerto Rico.

    The final question I asked was the common one, “What was one of her stories during her time in the army?” My mom provided me with a cool answer. During her time, she met one of her best friends there. A person named Maria Satana. My mom was named after her.

    Those were the questions I gave to her, and those were the answers given to me. During this project, I now know a lot more than I did before about my grandma. Even though I hadn’t had a chance to get to speak to her, it was nice to know about all the things that she did. She helped her country and now she is memorized as a veteran.