Dr. Barney Old Coyote was born on the Crow Indian Reservation. His people were warriors -- his grandfather fought in the Battle of the Rosebud, shortly before the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
"I was raised the Crow Indian way," Old Coyote said. "And when your camp is under attack, you're expected -- if you're able-bodied -- to be there at the front lines."
He was in his teens when the United States went to war. "Pearl Harbor was the 7th; I enlisted the 8th," he said.
Before he left, Old Coyote sought advice from two Crow men who served in World War I.
"They said 'Just be an American. Forget being an Indian -- just fight for that flag.'"
Old Coyote and his brother Henry served as gunners on the A-20 Havoc and B-17 Flying Fortress. There they became famous as "code talkers," radioing each other in Crow and baffling German translators. The Old Coyotes' mother asked that they be kept in the same unit, so Henry could look out for his little brother.
"[Henry told me] that German pilot will try to shoot you down," Old Coyote said. "'He doesn't care whether you're Indian or not, so don't make a big thing out of being an Indian.' He said 'You just try to get them before they get you.'"
Both Old Coyote brothers made it through the war. Barney went on to fight for Native American civil rights and spent time working in the White House.
"We're part of a long line of service men who have fought to keep that flag flying,and that hits right here" he said, pointing to his heart.
Old Coyote is the most decorated Native American World War II veteran, garnering 17 awards for his combat service.
"When you're under that flag you can be Indian, you can be black, you can be Mexican," Old Coyote said. "You're American."
He says that's something worth fighting for.