AUGUST 12, 2015 - KOTZEBUE, ALASKA - Today, seven (7) members of the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) were honored in a ceremony with visiting United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald at the Maniilaq Long Term Care Facility in Kotzebue.
“These men bravely protected our lands and the Alaska Territory during World War II,” said Wayne Westlake, NANA president and CEO. “It is a privilege to have Secretary McDonald with us and it is wonderful that he took time during his visit to recognize our veterans. It means a great deal to their families and our region.”
The Alaska Territorial Guard was a reserve military force of the US Army organized in 1942. More than 6,000 volunteers enrolled from 107 communities throughout Alaska. In 2000, all ATG members were recognized as military veterans.
Surviving members of the ATG Henry Jackson and Percy Jackson of Kiana, Almond Downey and Daniel Henry Sr. of Kotzebue, Ivan Booth and Wendell Booth of Noatak, and Johnnie Ticket Sr. of Selawik took part in today’s event. Adjutant General and former Commission of Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs General John W. Schaeffer Jr. and World War II veteran (non-ATG) Willie Booth were also recognized for their service.
The event was sponsored by Maniilaq Association, the health, tribal, and social services provider of Northwest Alaska and supported by NANA Regional Corp., the Alaska Native Corporation for the region.