Is it true that Ira Hayes, a member of the Tohono O'odham tribe, was one of the Marines that raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima?
This statement is true. Ira Hayes was indeed a Tohono O'odham (a people indigenous to the Soutwest, in modern Arizona), and he is one of the Marines in the famous photograph depicting the raising of the American flag at Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima. He became a national hero for a very brief period during the war, but after returning home, suffered from unemployment, discrimination, severe depression, and alcoholism. This experience was common to many O'odham veterans, as well as other Native Americans who participated in the war. Like many African-Americans and other minority groups, Native Americans used the war as a catalyst for seeking reform. Before his untimely death, Hayes himself spoke out against the poor treatment extended to Native American veterans.