Native American Pow Wow honors vets and active duty military

By Chad Weber

September 22, 2013 Updated Sep 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM CDT

EDWARDS, Ill. -- Our veterans and those serving in the armed forces were honored in a unique way on Sunday.

The annual "Gathering of the Veteran's Pow Wow" brought together song and dance to pay tribute to those serving our country.

"It's always been that the veteran's were held in high esteem throughout history," said Butch McCamy, vice president of Seven Circles Heritage Center . "Even before recorded history, the Native American people always held their warriors high because they knew they were so important to all the people in the community."

"This particular pow wow is to honor missing in action, the fallen and to honor those that are wearing the uniform today," said Dennis Weaver, president of the Central Illinois Gourd Dancing Club.

"We have the fallen heroes traveling wall too," McCamy said. "This is all Illinois veterans that have gave up their lives for us."

"A lot of them, it feels really healing," said Waylon McCamy, president of the Seven Circles Heritage Center . "Some of them didn't get a hero's welcome when they came home and to be able to be celebrated through song and dance, it really touches them."

"When I came home from Vietnam, I got spit on up in Chicago," Weaver said. "Throwed my medals in the brayaway and came home and tried to get my life in order. One day I happened to end up at a pow wow and a guy came by and asked me and says well are you a veteran sir. I said yeah, thought maybe he was going to spit on me or tell me I wasn't welcome at the pow wow. Instead they took me out in the arena and we were honored. That was the first time I felt welcomed."

"Hopefully someday we won't have a future for that because we'll have peace but as long as there is veterans and there's warriors out there, we need to take care of them because they take care of us," Waylon McCamy said.