December 5, 2016 by Barbara With
On December 4, 2016, veterans from all across the country began arriving at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in a gathering organized by Wesley Clark Jr, veteran and son of Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe NATO. The mission was to protect and serve the water protectors camped out along the Missouri and Cannon Ball rivers as they peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Clark Jr. began organizing the event on Facebook, and within three weeks had 2,500 veterans interested in participating. The vets began arriving at camp earlier in the week. Since the Standing Rock Sioux could only accommodate 2,000, Clark limited this event but is hoping that other vets will replace those who originally participated. In this way, Standing Rock water protector camps will have a constant presence of veterans to help protect them as they face the Morton County law enforcement and their violent opposition to their prayers.
In a moving ceremony attended by over 500 veterans from all branches of service, Clark Jr. made a formal apology to Leonard Crow Dog, revered Lakota medicine man and spiritual leader, for the centuries of genocide that the US military has committed against indigenous tribes.
Video by Kellie Stewart