The Blackfeet Warrior Society, parents and relatives of servicemen and women, and the entire Blackfeet Tribal Business Council held a two-hour commemorative and honoring ceremony for Blackfeet member MSG William F. (Jerry) Carlson, who was killed in action in Afghanistan Oct. 24. In addition, the occasion was marked by the return for R&R of Army Pvt. Casey Bruno, who took part in the ceremonies and was inducted into the Blackfeet Warrior Society.
Master Sergeant Carlson had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army since joining in 1979, having been trained as an Army Ranger and moving on to Ft. Bragg for Special Forces training. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command May 30, 1995, where he served as team member, assistant team sergeant and team sergeant. He retired from active military duty July 1, 2003.
Some of his decorations include the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the SCUBA Badge.
The US Central Intelligence Agency said Tuesday, Oct. 28, that Carlson and another man working for them, Christopher Glenn Mueller of San Diego, were both killed in an ambush while "tracking terrorists operating in the region" of Shkin, a village in eastern Afghanistan, but the agency did not provide details of the incident.
Blackfeet elder Al Potts opened the ceremonies with a prayer, and the Blackfeet Warrior Society walked a picture of MSG Carlson, an American Flag and his Green Beret while the Two Medicine River Singers performed honor songs.
Another veteran, Army Pvt. Casey Bruno, was on hand to lend his support and receive his induction to the Blackfeet Warrior Society. Home on R&R from Iraq, Casey's dad, Wayne Bruno, said his son will be returning to the Middle East Nov. 19, but that he expects him to return to the States for good next March. "He participated in the Carlson honoring, and he was very honored to do that," Wayne said.
Gerald Cooper of Blackfeet Security offered the invocation and Blackfeet Councilman Fred Guardipee read the eulogy. Keith Heavy Runner spoke on behalf of the Blackfeet Warrior Society, and all the Blackfeet Councilmen offered their words in the ceremony that opened November's General Council meeting.