Presented November 1, 2009
Have you ever heard of a man named Harvey Natchees?
Natchees was the first American soldier to enter Berlin in WW II.
The April 1946 Desert Magazine ran an article on him that read like this:
Harvey Natchees, 25 year old Ute Indian who was the first American Soldier to enter Berlin, wonders what became of the award he thought had been posted for the first Yank who entered the Nazi capital. Although he has been home since January he has heard nothing more of the supposed award. In the meantime he has taken up life as a chicken rancher, with his wife Clara and 2-year-old daughter, Maxine, after doffing the uniform he had worn three years. “While I had that on,” he said, “I was somebody. An American soldier. Proud to be one. Now I’m just another Indian. I was thinking about settling down outside the reservation but then I decided my real place is with my people.” (www.scribd.com/doc/2149940/194604-Desert-Magazine-1946-April p. 38. (10/31/2009))
Natchees found his identity – who he was – in his service to his country. The article says that he served nobly. “While overseas, Natchees won the Silver Star, bronze star and Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster for action as advance scout in the Third armored division.” But Natchees found out that even noble service in the military does not produce an identity that lasts.
All of us have experienced this. All of us have accomplished things that have been forgotten. This happens when you seek your identity from things that don’t really last.
This podcast shows us a better — the best — source of our identity.