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Diplomacy in Action

Native American Heritage Month: Emily Keas


November 1, 2010

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I joined the Foreign Service in 1994 ,as a second career, after retiring from private industry. My first exposure to the Foreign Service was as a local hire for the Defense Intelligence Agency – DAO Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I became a career status employee in 1994 and my first posting was Ethiopia. I served in Riyadh and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and retired out of Barbados.

After retiring, I became a WAE office manager and have since had assignments all over the world to include Oman, Syria, Algiers, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia where I am working now. My daughter is also a member of the Foreign Service serving as a consular officer in Guadalajara, Mexico.

My great-grandmother, who was among the thousands of Indian women who walked the Trail of Tears, gave birth to my grandfather, John Chinarche, in Indian Territory after arriving from Arkansas. My grandfather was an Indian scout for the U.S. Army out of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was listed on the DAWS rolls and was given Indian land in Oklahoma due to his Cherokee Indian blood. My father, Eugene Chinarche, was adopted by a German family and took the name Fluke because of discrimination using an Indian name at that time in history. He attended Haskell Indian School for boys in Lawrence, Kansas. When the boys were 16 they were involuntarily sworn into the Kansas Army National Guard. The Indian Calvary Troop rode to Fort Riley every summer for summer camp training. He enlisted in WWII and was trained as a glider pilot.

Our family is proud of our Cherokee Indian heritage and proud to serve our country.

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