Many American Indians distinguished themselves fighting on the Western Front. And as compared to black and Mexican American soldiers, Indians enjoyed near universal respect when in uniform. To celebrate their patriotism during and after the war, Indians could even perform a variety of traditional ceremonies otherwise proscribed. Both in combat and in their support roles on the homefront, including volunteer contributions by Indian women, Native Americans hoped their efforts would result in a more vigorous application of democracy. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs continued to cut health and education programs and to suppress Indian cultures.