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‘Little Hawk And The Lone Wolf’: An Interview With Menominee WWII Veteran

90-Year-Old Veteran Shares His Views, Beliefs, Struggles

Judith Siers-Poisson and Ray Kaquatosh. Photo: Jennifer Carlson of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Judith Siers-Poisson and Ray Kaquatosh. Photo: Jennifer Carlson of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

Editor’s Note: On Nov. 1, “The Larry Meiller Show” producer and WPR fill-in host Judith Siers-Poisson interviewed Ray Kaquatosh at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum in Madison. Kaquatosh related stories from his recently released book, “Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Memoir,” as well as other recollections and insights.

On this Veterans’ Day, one of the most poignant topics that Kaquatosh touched on was post-traumatic stress disorder. He shared that immediately after his World War II service, he didn’t deal with that condition.

But now, at age 90, he is coming to terms with his belief that when he passes away, he will meet the spirits of those that he killed during his wartime service.

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Kaquatosh said, “I have post-traumatic stress. I ain’t bragging about it. I said I would not be ostentatious or boasterous (sic) of what I did, the men I put in the ground. I’m suffering from post-traumatic stress due to the fact that I took the souls of so many. … I did what I had to do.”

Kaquatosh is now working with a VA psychiatrist to address those issues and to attain a level of peace and acceptance. Having seen the doctor for the first time just the day before the interview, Kaquatosh said, “it proved beneficial. … It alleviated my stress. I left there smiling. And I’m smiling today.”

He expresses frustration that while the military trained him and others to kill, they didn’t prepare them for the emotional toll it would take. And that is what he is dealing with decades later.

We hope that you will enjoy Kaquatosh’s reflections on his military service, but also on religion, mothers, wildlife and the environment, and even John Dillinger in this 90 minute video.

Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Conversation with Ray Kaquatosh from Wisconsin Veterans Museum on Vimeo.