The photos of Potawatomi service members on the Veterans
Wall of Honor inside the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage
Center are a testament to the willingness of Tribal members to serve
in the nations armed forces.
Following a path that hundreds of fellow Potawatomi have tread,
has been Mokena, Illinois-native Corey Lewis, a member of the U.S.
Marine Corps since 2011. Lewis was recently in Washington D.C. to
receive recognition for his service during a tour of duty in Afghanistan
as the 2014 recipient of the Lance Cpl. James E. Swain Marine Corps
Intelligence Enlisted Marine of the Year Award.
It was truly the culminating point in my military career.
I was glad that all that extra effort I put in paid off in the long
run, Lewis said.
Lance Cpl. Swain was a Marine intelligence specialist killed
in action in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. According to the Marine Corps,
the award is for enlisted Marines who best exemplify intelligence
excellence, innovation and demonstrate dedication to mission accomplishment
within the operating forces.
I didnt even know I was nominated until I got it,
conceded Lewis. One day one of my staff sergeants texted me
Following his graduation from basic training, Lewis attended
the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center. In July
2012, he was assigned to the Southwest Analysis Reach Back Element,
providing support to the Regional Command Southwest Afghanistan
during his six month tour of duty in that country.
Amongst the numerous awards and commendations he has been awarded,
Lewis is a recipient of the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal
for his tour of duty in Helmand, Afghanistan. Also like many before
him, Lewis can tell you the exact amount of days he has left in
his current term of service, which at time of print will be just
more than 300 days. He says he plans on fi nishing up his current
enlistment and is in the process of applying to college, hoping
to attend the University of Iowa in pursuit of either a history
or psychology degree.
I have two career routes right now. Im either going
to go FBI, which I might lean more towards the historical and psychology
degrees, or Ill just go back to firefighting, which was what
my original plan was, he said.