Fallen Kiowa "Lyndreth "Tugger" Palmer honored in ceremony

By Mitch Meador
Lawton, Oklahoma (AP) 12-08

Lyndreth L. “Tugger” Palmer, commander of the Kiowa Blackleggings Warrior Society, recited the names of his tribe’s fallen heroes as Fort Sill celebrated Native American Heritage Month.

The Intertribal Dancers of Oklahoma performed in full regalia and danced the “Tribal Two-Step” during November with members of the post leadership team. Calvert Nevaquaya of Elgin performed on the flute at a luncheon sponsored by the 428th Field Artillery Brigade and emceed by Sharon Thompson, manager of Equal Employment Opportunity.

Col. John S. Fant, commander of the 428th FA Brigade, introduced the speaker as “a distinguished warrior, leader, father and community member.”


Palmer is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Navy who received numerous awards for his service in Vietnam. He was a world champion fancy war dancer in 1967 and at one time worked in the Wild West Show at Six Flags Over Texas. Palmer holds a degree in business administration and was a manager in various capacities for over 35 years.

Palmer’s main topic was the Southern Plains military societies.

“The Kiowa societies have played a significant role, and the Kiowa Gourd Clan, the Tia-Piah Society, was revived in 1957,” he began.

Palmer’s late father, Gus Palmer Sr. of Carnegie, revived the Kiowa Blackleggings Warrior Society in 1958. Another society, the Kiowa Oho-mah Lodge, has functioned continuously since the early 1800s.

The Apache Blackfeet Society was established in 1959-60. The Comanche Little Ponies came together in 1972, and the Black Night Society in 1976. Various other Southern Plains veterans’ organizations have also been formed since then, Palmer said.

Maj. Gen. Peter M. Vangjel, commanding general of Fort Sill, spoke at the 50th anniversary of the Kiowa Blackleggings Society this fall and presented sabers to two World War II veterans as well as one to Palmer at a saber ceremony.