Cherokee Nation honors veterans in June

June 23, 2017

(L to R) Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, U.S. Army veteran Granvill Murray, Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor and Principal Chief Bill John Baker

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored three veterans with the Medal of Patriotism at the June Tribal Council meeting on Monday.

Frederick Morrow, 68, of Eucha; Granvill Murray, 83, of Claremore; and William Lawrie Jr, 72, of Collinsville, were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.

Lt. Morrow was born on July 12, 1948, in Aberdeen, Washington, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967. Morrow volunteered for Force Logistics Commands and Provisional Rifle Company, which was an infantry unit. In this unit, he was over 200 patrols and more than a dozen operations. Morrow was discharged in 1969 and later received local newspaper recognition and numerous awards for his service. Morrow is currently serving his third term as commander of the American Legion Post 192 in Spavinaw.

“Of all of the medals I have ever received, this is the greatest honor,” Morrow said. “Thank you so much for recognizing me.”

Cpl. Murray was born on April 24, 1933, in Mazie and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953. He was sent to Camp Chaffee in Arkansas for basic training, where he was assigned to the 144th battalion. After being transferred to Ft. Campbell, he enrolled in paratrooper school. After being transferred again to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, Murray received an honorable discharge in 1955. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, in addition to other medals and ribbons. Using the money from his GI Bill, Murray attended OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, where he studied heat and air, and later operated his own business until he sold the company in 1980.

Sgt. Lawrie was born on March 20, 1944, in Wichita, Kansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1961 and completed basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois. After being discharged from the Navy Reserves in 1963, Lawrie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he was stationed in Guam, New Hampshire and Massachusetts before being discharged in 1971. Later that year, Lawrie enlisted in the Army, where he served in Panama, California, Germany and Kansas before he retired in 1983. In 1984, Lawrie returned to Ft. Riley in Kansas as a civil service employee at range control before going to work for the U.S. Postal Service in 1985. Later during his career, Lawrie transferred to the Tulsa post office, where he worked until his retirement in 2006.

Each month the Cherokee Nation recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which all veterans are held by the tribe.

Native Americans, including Cherokees, are thought to have more citizens serving per capita than any other ethnic group according to the U.S. Department of Defense. To nominate a veteran who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, please call 918-772-4166.