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'America's First Warriors,' Fighting In Iraq

Jun 1, 2010 (Talk of the Nation)

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Photojournalist Steven Clevenger has been covering wars for almost four decades — from his early days in Cambodia, to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Clevenger began documenting the role of Native American soldiers in the war in Iraq. His book is called America's First Warriors: Native Americans And Iraq.

Clevenger went to great lengths to document and understand the soldiers and their communities. He spent time embedded with Native American military members in Iraq in both 2007 and 2009.

He also attended traditional ceremonies in the U.S., such as the War Mothers' Dance and the Welcoming Home/Cleansing Ceremony. He spoke with the soldiers' families about the Native traditions meant to protect, honor and provide solace to the warriors.

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