Hopis and the Navy

Hopis have a long history of serving in the U.S. military. My dad is part of that important history. In the 1970s, he followed in the footsteps of his uncles and joined the Navy.  He was stationed on the aircraft carrier the USS Constellation (CV-64) and traveled way beyond the Hopi mesas to places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Persian Gulf.

After listening to his stories of life aboard the Connie, I also wanted to be in the Navy. As a kid I used to dress up in my dad’s Navy clothes and I even wore his “dog tags” to school! The movie “Top Gun” was a big hit in our home. I also remember hanging out at the Navy recruiter office in Flagstaff, Arizona, just to look at the pamphlets and posters on the walls.

Although my desire to join the Navy ended in high school, I’ve always had great respect for those who have served in the U.S. military.

Today I blog about Hopis in the military as a way to announce a special event about American Indian involvement in the Navy. The gathering will take place on August 7 at the Navy Operational Support Center in Phoenix, Arizona. More information can be found below.

Many thanks to Robert A. Flores, Museum Project Coordinator of the Arizona Capitol Museum, for letting me know about this event.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert


Ladies and Gentlemen,

You are cordially invited on Sunday, August 7, 2011, to the Navy Operational Support Center, Phoenix, Arizona. Rear Admiral Sanders United States Navy will speak concerning the important impact of Native Americans currently serving in today’s Navy. The Navy’s impact on the Native American Community and local economy, the Navy’s engagement with American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), as well as the Navy’s commitment, and opportunities in education, leadership, meaningful service, travel, and other areas of significance.

The Admiral would like to address and speak with Native American Elders, Leaders and Native American Youths on Sunday, August 7, at the Naval Facility located on 35th Avenue of the I-10 freeway.

When: Sunday, August 7, 2011

Time: 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Where: Naval Reserve Center 1201 N. 35th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85009. Located on the Southside of the I-10 freeway, 35th Ave. exit, Exit 141 south, the facility is on the eastside of 35th Ave. To enter the facility, after you take the 35th Ave exit, Exit 141, go south to W Roosevelt Street and turn east toward on W Roosevelt Street towards 34th Ave and turn north on 34th Ave. At the end of 34th Ave, you will see the entrance to the Naval Facility.

To view the facility map, click on the link below or copy and paste it to your browser (It is the facility (1) above/north of Falcon Park on the satellite map),


The point of contact for this event is Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Ray Fryberger U.S.N. (602) 353-3001 or you may contact me.

Please RSVP with number of attendees to: 602.926.3827 or rflores@lib.az.us

Please pass this email invitation to others that you feel may be interested in attending.



Robert A. Flores

Museum Project Coordinator

Arizona Capitol Museum

Arizona Secretary of State

1700 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85007

Email: rflores@lib.az.us

(602) 926-3827 (Direct)

(602) 515-6373 (Cell)

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