In Episode 7 Dr Viola shares stories of Carson Walks Over Ice counting coup as a Green Beret in Vietnam. Dr Viola became friends with Carson Walks Over Ice while working on his book Warriors in Uniform.
Below is an except from the podcast:
Today I would like to talk about my good friend Carson Walks Over Ice. Carson died in 2011. He was a member of the Crow nation and he went to Vietnam to do his war deeds just like his uncle Joseph Medicine Crow in World War II. I became friends with Carson while researching my book Warriors in Uniform. I worked on that book for many years and as I visited different reservations and chatted with people about my project, they would recommend people on the Reservation who I should chat with, whose stories should be remembered recorded, and that’s how I became friends with Carson.
I was visiting the Little Bighorn Battlefield one day and chatting with the ranger on duty at the time named Mardel Plain Feather. Mardel is also a member of the Crow tribe, and when she asked me what I was doing, I said, well, I’m working on a book collecting stories about Indians in the military, and she says, Oh, well I know a story you would need to get right away.
She said Carson Walks Over Ice went to Vietnam and his safe return was predicted in the Sundance ceremony. Everyone on the reservation knows that story. The Sundance is the highest religious expression for Plains people. It’s a three day ceremony and the dancers go without food and water for three days. And one day as they were dancing, several people said that they saw Carson standing at the entrance to the Sundance lodge and opening faces East. They said there was Carson standing there in his uniform, but he was on crutches. They all knew at the time he was in Vietnam. And so the dancers said, that means Carson’s going to come home. But it means he’s also injured. And that’s exactly what happened.
So with that story, I made it my goal to come and meet him and he was a very friendly fellow. We started chatting one day and we ended up becoming extremely close friends and we stayed close friends for years and years until his death.