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NHHR activities include an annual Honor Run to remember all Native American veterans who were “Killed In Action” since Lori Piestewa’s death in 2003, and the “Gold Star” families that were left behind after the sacrifice of these soldiers. American Gold Star families are immediate relatives of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been killed in combat or in support of certain military activities. The organization has also started recognizing and supporting “Blue Star” families in the community. American Blue Star families are those that have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces and was originally formed during World War II.
NHHR also offers motorcycle escorts for funeral services or welcome home events for returning military service personnel, participates in community service projects to assist veterans with home improvement or remodeling projects to better suit physical or mental challenges resulting from their military service, and outreach events to build awareness regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other difficulties faced by returning veterans or the families they leave behind.
Meet the Board Members
►Bobby Martin, President
He was one of the co-founders of Navajo Hopi Honor Riders and the cousin of Spec. Lori Piestewa, together with his family, they experienced first hand the loss of a fallen warrior in 2003. It has became his mission to provide a strong support for Gold Star families and encouraging them during the annual honor ride. At age 47, he’s been passionately involved with honor riders for nearly 16 years and striving to help veterans in Native American communities.
►Chris West, Vice President
Christopher West, a husband, a father and grandfather is from Lupton, AZ and resides in Ganado, AZ. He works for a Healthcare Facility as a Facility Superintendent. Christopher began his involvement with the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders in 2006 as a volunteer rider in support of the Gold Star, Blue Star families and all veterans. Past, Present and Future. He continued to take part in escorts for military personnel since 2006. When the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders became a 501© (3) non-profit organization in 2009, he started to serve on the Board of Directors as a Board Member. In 2016, he began to serve as the Vice President for the organization. Christopher continues to strive in improving the lives of all military and their families as well as still honoring and remembering all those who have served threw escorts and charities.
Both his mother and father served in the United States Marine Corp. His father served during the Vietnam War. His grandfather also served in WWII. And has a younger brother who is currently serving for the United States Marine Corp. Christopher’s family and wife’s family have a very rich background of veterans in their families.
“ I joined this organization to make a difference in the lives of our military and their families, show my support by honoring and remembering all those who have served, are serving and will continue to serve in the future and remind those families who have lost their loved ones, that we (Navajo Hopi Honor Riders) will NEVER FORGET!”
►Michelle West, Secretary / Treasurer
Michelle West is Tsinaajinii, born for Tábąąhá, her maternal grandfather is Tseedeshgizhnii and her paternal grandfather is Totsohnii. She was born in Winslow, Arizona, she is originally from Coppermine and currently lives in Ganado. Michelle graduated from Ganado High School and attended Dine College, to study Dine Teacher Education Program, she is working on pursuing Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. Her hobbies include; weaving, sewing, coordinating family events and riding her Victory Gunner.
Michelle is a student teacher at Wide Ruins Community School, she is also a part of the support staff for softball and volleyball. She helps promote Dine Language and helps the students reach proficiency in the Navajo Language
She is married, mother of four and has one grandson. She has four sisters, with one sister completing 20 years in the U.S Army as Chief Warrant Officer and another as a Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot.
Her grandfather is a WWII Veteran, all of her dad’s brothers served in the Armed Forces except for him, Chelly is following in her father’s footsteps when it comes to supporting Veterans and helping military families.
When asked, what inspired you to join NHHR? Michelle replied, “I joined back in 2006 with my father Hugh Lano and Larry Noble on the Annual Navajo Hopi Honor Ride. A ride which honors all fallen warriors both past and present- Throughout the year welcome home escorts are being made. While participating on Welcome Home Escorts I’ve met many of our Vietnam Veterans and hearing their stories of how they were welcomed home. It sadden me that they never received a proper welcome home after all the sacrifices and time spent away from their families. To this day It gives me great comfort that these honor escort is a healing process for them.
Also while visiting our Gold Star Families it brought a sense of pride knowing we can make a difference. We cannot solely take away their pain but we can let them know we are here to support them, embrace them and Honor them.”
Michelle was elected NHHR secretary/treasurer in 2016, she accepted to take on the challenge knowing what sacrifice are made to make the events happen while keeping in mind that we must remember and reflect upon our fallen heroes and all who have dedicated their lives so we can live ours.
Leon, a US Marine Corps veteran served from 1975-1981, he is a father of three and blessed with four grandchildren, he makes a home in Jamestown, NM. Leon was born in Rehoboth, NM in 1956, he graduated from Gallup High School in 1975 and received his automotive technology degree and liberal arts degree in 1982 from University of New Mexico.
He is Tódách’íi’nii and born for Mą’ii deeshgiizhinii, his maternal grandfather is Tó baazhní’ázhí and his paternal grandfather is Honágháahnii. Leon is currently retired but continues creating beautiful jewelry as silversmith and a skilled artist. His enjoyable activities include team roping, following PBR, working outside and of course riding his motorcycle with his biker family or for solitude time.
He participated in the first honor ride for Lori Piestewa in 2003, and has been involved with Navajo Hopi Honor Riders since. When asked what inspired him to be a part of NHHR, he replied, “I have learned we as a people can comfort, and be there for families who have lost loved ones in the military. It has helped me heal as a Veteran, even if it’s one person to comfort a family, that makes a difference and means the world to those grieving by showing compassion.”
►Adolph Soliz Sr.
Adolph Soliz Sr. grew up in the Phoenix area, born at Good Samaritan Hospital, he currently lives in the Salt River Maricopa Indian Community. His is both Mexican (Nakai) and Pima, from the Owl Clan.
Soliz attended McClintock High School in Tempe, Az and graduated in 1981, he then furthered his education at University Technical Institute for automotive, diesel and mechanic school. He also has vast knowledge in telecommunications by working at Cox Communication for 22.5 years. He is retired now and enjoys working with on his woodwork projects, loves his two dogs and creates yard furniture. Soliz is married with two sons, two daughters and five grandchildren.
He began being actively involved with Navajo Hopi Honor Riders in 2011, he admires how the Native biker community has come this far, he especially wanted to help the NHHR non-profit organization to support Native American Gold Star and Blue Star families, both he and his wife have family members who have served in the military, he has been a board member since September 2016.
►Lynette Goldtooth was raised in Tuba City and born in Shiprock, she is Bįįh Bitoodnii (Deer Springs Clan), born for Tábąąhá (Edge Water People); her maternal grandfather is Tł’ááshchí’i (Red Bottom People) and paternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan).
Goldtooth graduated from Tuba City High School and attended Mohave Community College and received her associate degree in nursing. She then received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University in 2010. She currently works at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation as a registered nurse.
Lynette is passionate about improving assistance for Veterans by making connection with VA hospitals.
►Geri Hongeva-Camarillo currently works at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino near Flagstaff, Az.
Hongeva is Yei Dine Tachiinii (Red Running Into The Water Clan) born for Tsenjijinkini (Cliff Dwelling Clan). Her maternal grandfathers are Kinlichii’nii (Red House People) and her paternal grandfathers are Bįįh Bitoo’nii (Deer Spring Clan). She is originally from Black Mesa and went to school in Flagstaff and graduated from Coconino High School in 1992. She is a married to a Navy veteran and mother of two. Her father was a Vietnam Veteran.
Geri has worked for Navajo Parks & Recreation and Navajo Division of Natural Resources for a total of 8 years, she has heavily promoted travel and tourism on Navajo Nation. She has also worked with NAU Anthropology for over 8 years and is very knowledgeable of Native American Cultural Preservation. She has a BFA degree in Visual Communication from Northern Arizona University. She speaks Navajo fluently, and is most recently known for her voice as C3PO in the Star Wars: Episode IV New Hope dubbed in the Navajo language, which has gained international attention for the Navajo Tribe and its language preservation.
Hongeva has also coordinated the Monument Valley Balloon Event consecutively for 4 years and continues to promote tourism on Navajo country. She is also a member of Arizona American Indian Tourism Association since 2008, helps coordinate the Arizona Indian Festival.
She enjoys riding, her first ride with NHHR was back in May 2009. Remembering fallen warriors and showing appreciation for their service drives her to be a part of NHHR.