Veteran offers special thanks

by Nov 5, 2012OPINIONS0 comments

I want to offer my sincere gratitude and thanks to family and friends for the support they’ve given my family over the last two years after our return home after 24 years in the military.

Warren Dupree, Steve Youngdeer Post 143 service officer, reads a Commendation for Lt. Col. (Ret.) Kina R. Swayney during a ceremony honoring women veterans in October 2011. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather)

We’ve recently moved to Pittsburgh, Penn. to be near the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where I will undergo a double lung transplant. The transplant team here in Pittsburgh is world class and leads the way in transplantation. The need for this life saving procedure was caused by a rare auto immune condition that causes fibrosis of vital organs, in this case, my lungs.  I was diagnosed almost 10 years ago and continued to serve for eight more years in the military until retirement.

I also want to offer a special thanks to the congregations of local churches for their prayers, the Cherokee Indian Hospital staff for their diligence in moving my preparation for transplant forward, and finally, the VFW Post 143 for welcoming our military family home and offering tremendous support with addressing my health care benefits with the VA and TRICARE, our military insurance carrier.

I’m thankful and grateful for this chance to continue my life among my family and people. I ask for your continued prayers for my family in the days ahead.  We remain in high spirits and hold hope that all will go well and we’ll return home soon.

On Veterans Day 2012, I pay tribute to my fellow Veterans and honor our fallen comrades!

Dan Lipinski said, “On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.”


Kina B. Swayney

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army