Order of the Indian Wars

Frank) And we’re back. And I think we’re done with all of our shameless self promotion this morning. (Deb) Now we’re going to shamelessly promote other people. (Frank) Yea. (Deb) And one of the things that we’re going to be talking about for the next few weeks as we lead up to Christmas are Christmas gift ideas. And you know, people have so much stuff, so it’s always a challenge to figure out what to get, especially for guys. Guys are so hard to buy for. I don’t know why. But they’re so hard to buy for. And I belong to a lot of really interesting organizations that give you a lot of opportunities to do cool stuff. So, one of those I want to talk about today is the Order of the Indian Wars. And it sounds like it’s all about fighting, and there is a lot of that. There’s a lot of military history in it. But we get to go on some really cool trips. So, this past fall we were in New Mexico, down around Las Cruces? and did some great day trips with some experts on the Apache Wars and on Pancho Villa and on Billy the Kid. So, it is a really awesome organization. And then every spring they have an event in Denver that’s just a day of talks and just camaraderie. But it brings together people from all over the country with a common interest. And it has some great opportunities and so I just want to share a little bit of what they do with you guys today. (Frank) OK. (Deb) There’s a real joy in the company of folks who share the same passions and obsessions as yourself. That camaraderie is the glue that holds together the Order of the Indian Wars. Layton Hooper, OIW board member, offered his insights. Layton Hooper grew up in Smith Center, Kansas in the 1950s and 60s. While he was surrounded by countryside that was rife with Indian Wars history, it was the television that sparked his imagination. “My friends and I spent our summer days and weekends playing Cowboys and Indians,” said Layton, “it’s how we grew up, so naturally we still have love for western and Indian Wars history.” Layton became fast friends with Indian wars scholar and author Greg Michno after Layton contacted him about one of his books. Then living in Fort Collins, Layton also became acquainted with Mike Koury, the organization’s president. We all belonged to the Fort Collins Westerners. Then I became a member of OIW. “I became interested in Indian Wars history and the Apaches, when I worked in Cochise Stronghold”, added Layton, “as a young man, as a firefighter for the Forest Service.” The OIW was founded to study, in-depth, and share US military history of Indian warfare, whether it was tribes against one another or with emigrant peoples. To that end, the OIW holds two annual events: a symposium in Denver each spring and a trip in the fall. “We also seek to preserve and protect those important sites associated with the this history,” said President Mike Koury, “and to encourage people to become involved in preservation in their own communities.” In 2015, the fall excursion explored points in southern New Mexico related to warfare with the Apache, events with Pancho Villa, and the life of Billy the Kid. Next year the group heads east–to western Pennsylvania to explore sites related to a young George Washington and the French and Indian Wars. Whether it’s Geronimo, Sand Creek, Little Bighorn or lesser known sites or personalities, the OIW jumps headfirst into discovery. The journey is enlightening, respectful, always surprising. The best part though, is the company you have along the way. For more information, visit indianwars.com.

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