By Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer
RAPID CITY – Major Stephanie R. Griffith, USMC, an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, has been awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service to her country. She has served in the Marine Corps for 13 years,
Her primary job in Afghanistan was to assist the State Department in its relations with the local governors of the province that they were in. She also worked as a liaison between the U.S. State Department, the British State Department, the Marine commanders on the ground and the people of the Majarh, Helmands Province in Afghanistan. She spent seven months on the ground in this capacity, from October 2010 through May 2011.
During her time in Afghanistan, Griffith, who was born in Rosebud, witnessed the treatment of the women of Afghanistan. She stated that there were few instances when she actually witnessed women active in their society. The majority of the women follow local custom and stay behind doors, regardless of what is going on in their towns. In a couple of instances, Griffith felt a certain level of animosity toward herself and the other female Marines when a few local men threw stones at them as they passed by. Beyond that, she was afforded a good amount of respect, most likely because of her position, which put her in contact with many of the local businessmen in the area where she was stationed.