Since time immemorial, Potawatomi have served as warriors to protect the well-being of others. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization exists to bring together Citizen Potawatomi veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and seeks to recruit new members.

“We do more than just honor the veterans. We honor our citizenry and our community,” said David Barrett, CPN Veterans Organization officer and CPN District 10 legislator.

The CPN Veterans Organization welcomes service members and their spouses, regardless of combat or service status, to join.

“We are a standalone, social organization,” said Daryl Talbot, CPN Veteran’s Organization commander. “We get together to socialize and visit and have a meal.”

Monthly meetings provide opportunities for fellowship and to meet other veterans. The group also presents the colors and flags at the annual Family Reunion Festival and during the Potawatomi Gathering of Nations as well as participates in events across the region. However, the CPN Veterans Organization has lost several active members in recent years. They hope recruitment will help the group continue to thrive.


Although the CPN Veterans Organization convenes regularly at the Nation’s North Reunion Hall, it welcomes Citizen Potawatomi veterans and their families from across the country to come together.

District 4 Legislator Jon Boursaw helps oversee an auxiliary organization in Kansas, and the CPN Veterans Organization hopes more will follow suit.

“We encourage East Coast, West Coast, Texas, to start the CPN Veterans Organization in their location,” Barrett said.

Because it is independent, the CPN Veterans Organization does not have the capability of providing monetary support toward establishing auxiliary groups. However, the organization’s officers are happy to offer advice and best practices to help those interested.

Becoming a member

The only requirement to join includes completing a form, and there are no participation stipulations.

“Whether they come one time a year or all the time, there is no obligation,” Barrett said. “I think sometimes the ones that have served less time maybe feel like they don’t deserve to be involved, or those who didn’t see combat, but that has nothing to do with it. It’s patriotism and wanting to see the organization continue.”

Learn more about the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization by reading its monthly Hownikan column or reaching out to the group’s leaders. Daryl Talbot, the group’s commander, is available at or 405-275-1054. David Barrett, treasurer, welcomes communication through email at