A video of a Crow soldier returning home that was presented with a war bonnet and an honor song by Crow elders has gone viral. On December 21st, the nationally recognized rodeo announcer Bob Tallman stopped to video the Warrior Honor Song at the Billings Montana airport.
The returning soldier in the video is Keenan Tooktheshield.
In the week since it was posted, the video has racked up over 1.66 million views and received nearly 17,500 retweets.
In honor of the Native soldier who had returned home, Tallman tweeted the following:
"I’ve seen a lot in my travels over the last 40 years but this stopped me in my tracks. Thank you to this young man for serving our country and thank you to the elders that welcomed him home with such honor. God bless our military and God bless America! ~~#~~militaryfamilies"
Crow Tribe of Indians Social Media Director Justin Stewart confirmed it was members of the tribe holding the coming home ceremony for the soldier.
"This is a coming home ceremony," Stewart told Indian Country Today. "The elders place the headdress on the soldiers head as he arrived at the airport. He received the honor as he was part of the service and military. We host this ceremony usually after soldiers are deployed. The families pray for them, and this gives them the right to wear the war bonnet. In fact even women in the past have been given this honor. These honor songs are from the family and clan uncle or grandfather, and each of these songs are different."
"Once they receive this right, they also give away gifts."
The tweet has hundreds of positive responses calling the soldier a warrior, hero and a true American.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling