On a per-capita basis, Menominee County, home to the Menominee Tribe, provided more soldiers to the Army over the last four years than any other county in the nation without a major Army installation, according to analysis by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . That finding was a revelation to reporter, Phil O'Conner. O'Conner learned a lot during a visit to Keshena in May, for the annual Menominee Veterans' Pow Wow, including the importance of the military tradition.
"Whereas you talk to a lot of people in the communities that we visited, that had high rates (of enlistment), economics was typically the first thing that was mentioned about their decision to enlist," notes O'Cooner, adding that economics was "rarely mentioned" in the Menominee Nation, despite an unemployment rate more than twice the national average. There's downside as well, as Native American veterans of the Vietnam War suffer post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of white veterans. The tribe's website lists 81 members in the military , including 19 deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.