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Boyd Family Shows Pride In Country Through Their Service

Boyd Family Shows Pride In  Country Through Their Service Boyd Family Shows Pride In  Country Through Their Service

When Americans celebrate their independence on the Fourth of July, the commitment of those dedicated men and women who served in the military should always be remembered.

If people wish to salute a family for being true Americans, they wouldn’t have to look any farther than David Boyd Sr. of the Fort Peck Reservation. The Poplar resident, who served for 31 years as a staff sergeant, can list the service done by various family members including his father, uncles, brothers and grandchildren.

“Serving in the military is important to us,” Boyd said. “This is our home.”

He noted that 19 percent of the U.S. military are Native Americans per capita.

“Native Americans are patriotic,” Boyd explained.

The list of his family members who were in the military include his father, Lewis, and five uncles all serving during World War II. They were raised north of Brockton. David’s mother, Loetta, was also a World War II veteran. She processed returning veterans on Angel Island off of San Francisco.

While David had a long Army career, six of his brothers also served in the military. Those siblings were Jonathan in the Air Force, Michael in the Army, Lowell in the Marines, Robert in the Army, Vernon in the Army and Llewelynn in the Army. Still living are David in Poplar, Michael in New Town, N.D., and Llewelynn in Brockton.

Son David Jr. earned the rank of Army captain. Grandchildren Lewis, David III and Jennifer each are ROTC members. In fact, Jennifer and David III recently earned firstplace honors at ROTC national drill and ceremonies held in Denver, Colo.

David Sr. said his service ran from 1972 to 2013. His experience includes three tours in Korea, Desert Storm and the Gulf War.

After he returned to the United States in 1976, he then served in the National Guard in a wide variety of areas including administration, security operations, communications and ordnance.

He liked being an ordnance officer the best when he hauled ammunition and bombs.

“We handled missiles and rockets, all the way down to pistols,” Boyd said.

Honors earned included a Defense Superior Medal for his service during Desert Storm, That medal is the second highest honor in the U.S. for a non-combat individual. “I was just doing my job,” Boyd said.

Other awards included the Korean Defense Service Medal, drivers’ badge, sharpshooters’ badge and good conduct medal.

He went on to serve as the government inspector of the A& S Tribal Industries plant that was located in Poplar. He was trained by the Army, Navy and Marines. He said he wasn’t worried when he inspected chemicals or explosives. “If you made a mistake, you won’t know it anyway,” Boyd joked.

Even now, he stays active by helping veterans receive health care and their earned medals. He served as the Governors Council of Indians Affairs for eight years. Accomplishments have included reducing travel requirements for reimbursement and making it easier to obtain veteran ID cards.

“I still help whenever I can,” Boyd said.

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