Veteran of the Day graphic for Thomas Dailey.

Veteran of the Day graphic created by Dominique Ramirez for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran, Thomas Dailey. Tech Sergeant Thomas Walter Dailey passed away on February 13, 2019 at age 100.  He was born September 18, 1918, and raised on the Pueblo of Laguna Reservation, located 50 miles west of Albuquerque, NM.  Mr. Dailey served as Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna for six terms.  He was a World War II veteran and served in the 102nd Infantry Ozark Division where he and his company landed on the shores of Cherbourg, France and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Mr. Dailey was awarded the Bronze Star and earned four battle stars.  His company fought and traveled through France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Austria and Czechoslovakia. He met the Russians on the Elbe River at the end of the war.

While in the service, Mr. Dailey learned the trade of auto-mechanics and upon returning to his reservation opened an auto-mechanic business – The Dailey Bros. Garage – along Route 66 in New Mexico.  During that time, the men of the Pueblo appointed him to serve as Governor in 1954 and again in 1955.  He later enacted legislation to allow for Pueblo officials to be elected by the general population and would win the first general election held by the Pueblo and win three more terms in the 1960s and 70s.  Throughout his tenure as a tribal official he helped navigate the route through the Pueblo that would become Interstate-40, secured funding for a hospital that would serve his community and established the Laguna Rainbow Center to care for the elders of his community. He also served on the committee that approved what was at once the largest open-pit uranium mine in the world, located on the Pueblo.  Mr. Dailey was a well-known tribal leader throughout Indian Country, recognized for his service to his people.  This community service carried over to other tribal communities such as the Haskell Indian Nations University where Mr. Dailey served on the Haskell Board of Regents.  He was also an invited speaker at numerous national Native American conferences.

Mr. Dailey, was a public servant for the Pueblo, formed a color guard of Laguna Pueblo veterans and a respected elder of the pueblo who was known for his ability to compose and sing many traditional songs.  He was an avid hunter, farmer and fluent speaker of the Laguna language.  Mr. Dailey is known for being an avid baseball fan.  He organized the first baseball games on the Pueblo of Laguna.  He played the sport he loved and over the years followed the Atlanta Braves attending several games in Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver with his family.

We honor your service, Thomas.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Share this story

Published on Jun. 5, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2.8 min.

Views to date: 129


  1. John Boyé June 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Great read about a person who gave so much to humanity. Glad he was honored.
    I feel a connection with the soldiers from all the wars this country has been through. It transcends time. Thanks again for honoring this fine soldier and his exceptional life.

  2. Robert Bostic June 6, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    We honor the service of Army Veteran, Thomas Dailey.

  3. Naira Marley June 6, 2019 at 3:05 am

    How is the veteran of the day picked?

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Army Veteran Hank Welzel served in the Korean War, but his military experience began in the German Army during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Ronald L. Green, who was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.