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Military service, American Indian heritage span generations for AETC civilian

Edward Blauvelt poses in his American Indian regalia for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson)

Edward Blauvelt poses in his American Indian regalia for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson)

Edward Blauvelt poses for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Edward Blauvelt poses for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson)

Edward Blauvelt poses in his American Indian regalia for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson)

Edward Blauvelt poses in his American Indian regalia for a photo at the 502nd Air Base Wing public affairs office. Blauvelt was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Military tradition and American Indian heritage go hand-in-hand for Edward Blauvelt, during both his military and community service.

Blauvelt’s family line has U.S. military members going back eight generations. Both of his parents grew up as military children, as did Blauvelt before enlisting in the Air Force at age 17. Today he’s the manpower operations program manager for the Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron, part of Headquarters Air Education and Training Command.

Blauvelt served on active duty in the Air Force for 27 years, 10 as a crew chief and 17 years as an aviation resource manager. While serving, Blauvelt maintained and shared his cultural heritage while encouraging others to do the same.

Blauvelt, who is a member of the Mohawk and Muscogee tribes, was recently presented the 2019 Society of American Indians Government Employees Meritorious Service Award. SAIGE is a federal non-profit organization that represents American Indian government employees.  

“Mr. Blauvelt’s public service has been extensive and unparalleled.  He inspires, encourages, and counsels his peers, fellow Airmen, and youth to be life-long learners as he continually motivates them to become engrossed in community service,” Rick Jellison, AFSAT executive director, said.

Blauvelt’s involvement includes: serving as the chairman of the JBSA-Randolph National American Indian Heritage Month committee, coordinating events such as a “gourd” dance and flag ceremony event recognizing American Indian Heritage Day in Texas, and serving as the co-founder of the Traditional American Indian Society to promote and educate American Indian culture within Texas.

“One of the things I find most rewarding is high school visits as part of TAIS,” said Blauvelt. “It helps us identify kids who would qualify for our American Indian Heritage Scholarship Fund. Being part of NAIH also allows me to honor family and tribe during the gourd dance and recognize military veterans who have served their nation and serve their communities today.”

The dual heritage of military service and American Indian culture didn’t end with Blauvelt; the tradition continues with his children.

“My son is my hero,” said Blauvelt. “He’s been in the Army for a couple years now and he still dons his American Indian regalia and comes out and dances with me each year. I’m proud of my entire family, past and present.”

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