She is the great-great granddaughter of Chief Lone Wolf the
Younger, born at the Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore,
Oklahoma. She's half Kiowa, a quarter Cherokee and a quarter
Choctaw, 100 percent Native American. She's a U.S. Air Force Veteran
and currently serves as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civilian.
Denise Wickson is as American as it gets.
November 21, 2016 - Denise Wickson proudly standing in front of
the American flag is a U.S. Air Force Veteran; currently serves as a
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civilian, and, is 100 percent Native
American. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jay Townsend)
“I am proud of my Native American heritage and this
country,” said Wickson. “I am many things because of the
land of opportunity we live in.”
Beyond lineage and
devotion to civil service, Wickson is rooted in all things
America. Maybe it's her New York Yankees cellphone cover
that gives it away or perhaps it's her devotion to the
Oklahoma Sooners football team.
Nonetheless, if you
talk to Wickson she'll tell you she's an Indian from
Oklahoma, an American and a 17-year veteran of civil
Her story of service began in 1996 while she was taking care of
her aging grandmother.
“My grandmother could see I was a lot
like my grandfathers and uncles that had joined the military,” said
Wickson. “I felt like I needed to be with her, but she kept
encouraging me to go and join.”
Wickson comes from a long
line of warriors that have fought for American liberties in many
different territories as well as our nation's foreign wars.
Wickson is a direct descendant of Kiowa Chief, Lone Wolf the
Younger, also known as Mamay-day-te. The former chief is famous for
saving the son of Old Chief Lone Wolf, Gui-pah-gah, the Elder,
during a fight with teamsters at Howard Wells, New Mexico. in 1872.
He is also known for the Supreme Court case Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock
where he claimed American tribes had been defrauded of land by
Congressional actions in violation of a previous treaty. This was
one of the first cases where a Native American tribe went to court
rather than resort to warfare to resolve an issue.
Wolf, almost every male in Wickson's family has served in the
military and so have many of the females.
amazing to think about my family's military contributions to this
country,” Wickson said. “It's pretty amazing to be a part of that
By Jay Townsend, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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