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Volume XX Number 17 November, 1997

* Chief Gets New Knees
* Cherokees Open $82 Million Casino
* Bowers Named Veterans' Officer
* K.C., Kiss, Hank Jr. At Christmas Party
* All That Glitters...
* Letters to the Editor
* Cowboys, Indians And Rustlers In Big Cypress
* U.S. War Indians
* Bonnie Garris Joins LBF
* Youth Workshop Conference Teaches The Works
* Betty Mae Jumper: December Florida Living Covergirl
* New Awards Program For Youth At State
* Sweat Lodge Provides Night Of Hot Memories
* Ahfachkee Library Dedicated To Memory of Edna Cypress
* Dewitt Carter: All In The Family
* Tampa Youth Academic/Sports Banquet
* Tampa Seminar Focuses On Family Unity
* Educate Indian Children In Native Languages
* Say NO to Drugs
* Conservancy Demands Stronger Climate Position

Bowers Named Veterans' Officer

By Carlos L. Rainwater

Native American veterans of the Armed Forces are intensively proud of their service to our nation, but many are reluctant to seek the benefits they earned by serving in uniform.

In working with several Tribes across the United States, I have learned that Indian veterans are better served through representation by a tribal member, trained in the complex laws and regulations that govern the Veterans Administration (VA), than by attempting to access VA benefits and services on their own or through the efforts of an non-Indian representative. With that in mind, I recently wrote Seminole Chairman James Billie offering to train a Tribal Service Officer to assist veterans of the Seminole Tribe in accessing VA.

Chairman Billie named Stephen Bowers, a Vietnam Veteran, to receive training and to become a Certified Veterans' Service Representative. Stephen completed the Basic Service Officer course at FDVA Headquarters in St. Petersburg during the week of Sept. 29th and he attended the semi-annual County Veterans' Service Officer Training Seminar in Clearwater the following week. He received a Certificate of Training and was made an Honorary County Veterans' Service Officer by the President of the County Veterans' Service Officers' Association, Donald Priem.

We welcome Stephen to the ranks of Florida Veterans' Service Officers. The veterans of the Seminole Tribe will be well represented by him and he has the full support of the FDVA in his new job.

Veterans can reach Stephen for advice and assistance by calling him at this office in Tribal Headquarters at (954) 966-6300, ext. 1480.

Carlos Rainwater is Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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