First native American woman VFW CA State Commander to speak at Veteran's Day event

First native American woman VFW CA State Commander will speak at Veteran’s Day event

First native American woman VFW CA State Commander to speak at Veteran's Day event
Commander Dawn “Dusty” Napier.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Nov. 6, 2021) – Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors honors veterans and invites the community to the Annual Veterans Day Celebration next week. They will hold the event virtually on Tuesday, November 9, at 11:00 am.

The keynote speaker is Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California State Commander Dawn “Dusty” Napier. Napier is the second woman veteran and first native American to serve in this position in the organization’s 100 years of existence. Napier served 20 years in the U.S. Navy.

Commander Napier grew up in Eureka, California, and graduated from Eureka Senior High School in 1973. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Karuk Tribe.

In January of 1974 she enlisted in the United States Navy. She received her training as a Radioman. Commander Napier’s first duty station  brought her to Naval Communication Station Guam MI. While there, she participated in providing communications support to the American Embassy during the fall of Saigon and evacuation of the Embassy and people of Vietnam to Guam.

She earned her eligibility for the Veterans of Foreign Wars aboard the USS Acadia when it deployed to the Persian Gulf. Napier retired from active service in April of 1994 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer.

Napier speaks at the virtual event and then live at 11 a.m.-noon at the bandstand in Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord Nov. 11.

Recognizing heroes

“The Board of Supervisors thanks all veterans and their families. We recognize these heroes whose sacrifice to protect our democracy and country deserve our gratitude and celebration,” said Board Chair Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We are so very pleased to continue this important annual tradition.”

In addition to Napier, the celebration will feature a color guard ceremony by De Anza High School JROTC. Vietnam Veteran Richard O’Connor will perform a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.

The Honorable Laurel S. Brady will also speak. Governor Pete Wilson appointed Brady to Municipal Court, Richmond, in 1996. Since 1998, Brady has presided over Superior Court.

The public can watch the virtual Ceremony live at or Also, the celebration will be broadcast live on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) channels: Comcast Cable 27, ATT/U-Verse Channel 99, and WAVE Channel 32.

Please contact Contra Costa County Veterans Service Officer Nathan D. Johnson at (925) 313-1481 for any questions about this year’s event.