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The powerful moment a U.S. Marine joins Native Americans in a meaningful traditional dance

With one in traditional Iowa tribal garb and the other in his Marine uniform, a father and son dancing at a powwow in 2014 are still getting major attention on YouTube 6 years later.

The original video has been viewed over 2.6 million times and has been shared elsewhere as well.

The Marine in question is Lance Corporal Marland Trey Kent. According to the video’s caption, he carried out the American flag at the 29th Annual Iowa Tribal Powwow, which took place in Perkins, Oklahoma the weekend of June 20th-22nd, 2014.

The man next to him is Corporal Vincent Kent, a combat veteran, who was active duty at the time of the event.

According to Hugh Foley, who captured the video and posted it to his YouTube channel:

“The only thing that needs to be known is that is a father and son next to each other, not just a random guy.”

This particular dance was part of the Native American tribe’s “changing of the guard,” but – according to the caption – neither man had practiced in advance – which is pretty impressive considering their great moves!

“We did not practice this dance because we are both straight dancers from the Ponca War Dance Society. That’s how come he busted a move like he did!”

As you can see, many of the dancers who join in behind the pair are wearing numbers, indicating a competition of some sort. Lance Corporal Kent isn’t wearing one, so he may have joined in at the last minute.

While there were the usual trolls commenting on the video in a way designed to rile people up, most commenters were impressed by the display:

“This is an amazing video. He is honoring the culture AND the uniform that he proudly wears. Bless you Marine, and thank you for your service to this great nation,” said one viewer.

Native people have long served in the U.S military, but haven’t always received the attention they deserve for it.

In 1996 a member – Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Arnold of the Navajo Tribe – visiting the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia was prompted to establish the Native American Veteran’s Powwow Committee to honor active duty Native Americans and veterans after finding very little information about the contribution of Native tribes in the archives.

While some commenters felt the sanctity of the powwow was diminished by being recorded, it does the important work of drawing attention to an important part of Native culture.

Arnold pointed out the significance of the powwow’s heritage and its connection to Veterans Day observances.

“A long time ago powwows were spiritual gatherings to cerebrate certain community events or to honor somebody who had come back from war. Tribes would hold a dance and people would sing songs that reflected deeds done in a battle or songs carried down from their ancestors when they were fighting, such as in the American Indian wars. People came here at their own expense because they want to honor their veterans, just as Indians have honored their warriors throughout history.”

According to the Department of Defense “Native Americans have the highest record of military service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups.”

Today, nearly 190,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives are U.S. military veterans.

Be sure to scroll down below to see the father and son dance that celebrates service to two nations.

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