Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories
SERVICE TO PUEBLO AND NATION
Honored November, 1992
Twice named Governor of Taos Pueblo, Tony Reyna has lived a life of service to his people, his community, and his country. While serving in the army during World War II, he spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war. Captured by the Japanese along with hundreds of other New Mexico soldiers in the Philippines, he was sent on the Bataan Death March. He was tortured and forced to bury hundreds of people, his best friend among them. "Determination kept me going," he remembers. "I had a family, a home to come back to," said Tony.
Born in 1915, Tony has pleasant memories of growing up at Taos Pueblo. "By the time we could carry a bucket, we were carrying water and wood for mother to cook. We would run home from school to water and feed the horses. We would ride into town bareback to get kerosene. Those were very enjoyable days. We thought it was very hard, but looking back, it was very worthwhile. We learned to work and to take responsibility." Educated at the Taos Pueblo Day School and the Santa Fe Indian School, Tony graduated from Santa Fe High School in 1936.