On Saturday, Nov. 9, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox hosted a Marine Corps Birthday Party for local veterans. Chairman Fox is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has hosted the Marine Corps Birthday Party for the past several years.
This year’s MHA Nation Marine Corps Birthday Party was held in the 4 Bears Casino Bison Room. 4 Bears Casino provided all meals.
Chairman Fox opened the event by thanking the gathered veterans for their service and thanking the MHA Nation Tribal Business Council for supporting the birthday party. Chairman Fox also discussed his time in the Marine Corps and how his experiences prepared him for his role as tribal chairman.
“I give credit to two things for my ability to do what I can day by day,” said Chairman Fox. “The first is that I’m the son of a minister. My father instilled in me the importance of faith. The second reason I’m able to do the job I do is because I’m a United States Marine, and I know what that means.”
“No matter what, you do your duty. No matter what, you have that commitment,” said Chairman Fox. “It’s about dedicating and living for something greater than yourself.”
Each veteran present shared their experiences in the Marine Corps, including Bernadette White Bear, who served for 22 years and nine days.
“I wanted to join the service that was the hardest,” said White Bear. “I enjoyed the military. I enjoyed the people I met.”
White Bear served in Alaska and Japan, among other countries. White Bear also completed two tours in Iraq before her service ended.
“I’m glad Mark is doing this,” said White Bear. “Sometimes you miss this. Happy birthday, Marines.”
The event also included singing happy birthday to the Marine Corps and a ceremonial cutting of the cake. The youngest Marine veteran present received a slice of cake from the oldest, signifying the passing of the torch to the younger generation.
Saturday’s event marked the sixth time Chairman Fox has hosted the Marine Corps Birthday Party. Currently serving his second term, Chairman Fox has dedicated his administration to honoring and caring for MHA Nation veterans.