Dakota Santee Sioux Nation to Proclaim March 29th, 2024 as Vietnam War Veteran’s Day


The Dakota Santee Sioux Nation is very pleased and proud to announce the honoring of Isanti Dakota Ancestors and Vietnam War Veterans by proclaiming Friday, March 29, 2024, as Vietnam War Veteran’s Day.

Tribal Chairman, Alonzo Denney, the Santee Sioux Nation, and Ohiya Casino & Resort will acknowledge this important day by sponsoring:

• A Veteran’s Honor Guard Ceremony at the Tribal Honoring Monuments on March 29th at 11:00 am in the Santee Village
• A Veteran’s Meal Served at the Ohiya Casino Event Center from 12:00a to 2:00p, free to Veterans
• The ceremonial honoring of fallen Marine Vietnam Veteran Basil Heth Jr. with prayer, song, and guest speakers at Ohiya Casino
• $25 in free play and special hat pins will be distributed to all Veterans at Ohiya Casino from 11a to 5p
• Diabetic and blood pressure screening from the Santee Clinic at Ohiya Casino
• Free haircuts for Veterans from 1p to 3p at Ohiya Casino
• Drawings for cash and door prizes for Veterans at Ohiya Casino

Sergeant Heth’s service detail is below this story.

The official proclamation of this important occasion will be read on this day. Native American Veterans hold the highest record of military service per capita of any ethnic group serving in the Vietnam War. The Santee Sioux Nation will recognize the millions of brave Vietnam War soldiers who served with honor, courage, and valor!

All friends, family, media, and the public are invited and encouraged to attend this event.

Sgt. Basil M. Heth Jr.

Sgt. Basil M. Heth Jr. Ser. #2277502  U.S.M.C.

Basil is a proud United States Marine Corp Veteran. He was assigned crewchief and gunner to the Marine CH-46A Sea Knight, side number EP-1, bureau #151951 helicopter. This helicopter was one of about twenty other helicopters that made up Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265. It was attached to Marine Air Group 16, and later, 36, which in turn was attached to the 1st Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force, West Pacific.

Basil remained with this gallant bird for 15 months. He has logged over1,100 missions with his crew and he flew 1,306 total combat missions. He was proudly presented a total of 66 Air Medals; 65 Air Medals and 1 Single Mission Award. This will attest to the reliability and air worthiness of this “ole bird”, as well as the bravery of pilots and crew to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to complete the mission. They were forced down by hostile gun fire on two occasions.

Basil flew his last mission on December 8, 1968. He was on the “Freedom Bird” out of Danang on December 12, 1968. His total tour in country was 19 months and 27 days.