MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – USET presented plaques and blankets to show appreciation of their military service to EBCI tribal members Sam Lambert and Ernest D. Panther during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Semi-Annual Meeting in Mashantucket, Conn. on Monday, May 18.
Lambert is a Vietnam veteran who served three west Pacific tours and two Vietnam tours of duty while serving in the United States Navy from 1966-72. He earned the rank of Boatswains Mate 3rd Class and served on board the Landing Craft Carrier LKA USS Union.
Panther is a retired staff sergeant from the United States Air Force who enlisted in 1955 and was assigned to the 3555th Instillation Group at Perrin Air Force Base in Texas. He retired in 1975 with more than 21 years of service. In addition to his service, which took him to Japan and various points in the United States, Panther was also on special detail as participant in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
“You are not just veterans of the United States Armed forces,” Brian Patterson, USET president, said to Lambert and Panther. “You are valued warriors who have protected our Tribal nations’ sovereignty and are honored members of Indian Country. The plaques and blankets are only small tokens of the tireless work and service you have given to Indian Country by promoting veteran affairs.”