When Francella Clark – a long-time member of the Revere American Legion Post #61 – signed up for the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during the Korean War, it wasn’t the first time a proud warrior from her family had gone off to war.
In fact, that tradition in her family goes back much further than the founding of the United States.
That’s because she’s a full-blooded Kiowa American Indian whose grandfather was a noted chief of a band in that tribe.
Last week, at the Chelsea Soldier’s Home, Clark re-told the story of how her grandfather Chief Woman’s Heart (Manyi-ten) was a noted warrior.
“People would always say you’re a chief, why are you called Woman’s Heart?” she said. “The reason why was because others said he killed like a woman in battle because he didn’t make his victims suffer. He would just kill them straight out.”
She said the history of his life and photos of him are displayed in the Smithsonian Museum’s feature on the American Indian.
“It’s very exciting that he’s there,” she said. “The picture of him that I carry with me is blown up and displayed there at the museum.”
She said her father carried on the proud tradition in being an educational lecturer on the true history of the American Plains Indians. As a result, she lived in Oklahoma (where the Kiowa are now based), Kansas, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Clark met her husband, Edward, during their service in the Korean War era, and made her home in Massachusetts.
The two have been married for 61 years.
She is a past commander in the Revere post and her husband is a past chaplain. Though they live in Wenham, they have been associated with the Revere Post #61 for decades.
“The reason we started coming to Revere is that the Revere Post used to sponsor the 27th Lancer Drum & Bugle Corps and we both marched with the Lancers for years,” she said. “So, we continued being members after the Lancers dissolved. We are both veterans and we met as a result of our service.”