December 13, 2017
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored four military veterans with the Medal of Patriotism at the Tribal Council meeting Monday.
Tommy Terrapin, 73, of Vian; Russell Feeling, 73, of Locust Grove; Charles Lane, 82, of Claremore; and Steven Case, 60, of Jacksonville, Florida, were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.
Master Sgt. Terrapin was born in September of 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1966. Terrapin completed basic training and technical school at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. After basic training, he was assigned to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he spent three years. Next, Terrapin was assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas to work in computer programming and later spent time in Saudi Arabia. Terrapin received an honorable discharge in 1989.
“I appreciate the Cherokee Nation for giving these awards. I am going to honor this one until the end of my days,” Terrapin said.
Sgt. Feeling was born in February of 1944 and enlisted in the Air Force in 1965. Feeling completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. After additional training for radar navigation, Feeling was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, where he worked on fighter aircraft navigation systems. Feeling received an honorable discharge in 1969 and remained in the reserves until 1971.
Master Sgt. Lane was born in March of 1935 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1953. Lane was released from the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1958 and enlisted in the Air Force in that same year. During his service, Lane was stationed at various stateside air bases, serving as a technician in communication and power production. He also served an overseas tour in Frankfurt, Germany. Lane received an honorable discharge in 1981.
Sgt. Case was born in November of 1956 and enlisted in the Navy in 1974. Case completed basic training at Naval Base San Diego in California. After serving four years of shore duty, he reenlisted in 1978 and accepted orders for Rota, Spain. Case was reassigned to Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served for two years working with the military canine unit on narcotic and explosives training. Case received an honorable discharge in 1994.
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.