Cherokee Nation honors veterans in September

September 12, 2018

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation honored three military brothers and a U.S. Army veteran with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the September Tribal Council meeting.

Billy Kaiser, 62, of Sperry; George Kaiser, 60, of Kansas; Kenneth Kaiser, 72, of Owasso; and William Wickliffe Jr., 82, of Pryor, were recognized by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service to their country.

Sgt. Billy Kaiser was born in September 1955 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in May 1973. He completed basic training in San Antonio and was then transferred to Sheppard Air Force Base and Reese Air Force Base in Texas, where he was trained in aircraft maintenance and worked on T-37 and T-38 aircrafts. In 1975, Kaiser volunteered for worldwide duty which stationed him at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. After serving in Korea for one year, he was transferred stateside to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida and was honorably discharged in 1977.

“I think all veterans are pleased to get a little recognition, and I appreciate it,” Kaiser said.

Sgt. George Kaiser was born in November 1952 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1972. After completing basic training, Kaiser was transferred to Fort Bliss in Texas where he trained on the Nike Hercules Missile System. After completing training in 1973, Kaiser re-enlisted in 1974 and was stationed at Fort Greely in Alaska, where he remained for the next five years. During his service he worked on unmanned rockets and a variety of payload experiments. Kaiser was honorably discharged in 1979.

Sgt. Kenneth Kaiser was born in April 1945 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1965. After completing basic training at Fort Polk in Louisiana, he was transferred to Fort Eustis Military Base in Newport, Virginia. In 1966, Kaiser was transferred to Southeast Asia where he spent 11 months and 29 days at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. Kaiser served with the 264th Transportation Company, which was responsible for offloading ships and providing artillery for ground troops. Kaiser was honorably discharged in 1971.

Sgt. Wickliffe was born in October 1935 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1958. He completed basic training at Fort Carson in Colorado and was transferred to Fort Ord in California where he became a mechanic in the motor pool division. Wickliffe was transferred to Korea where he completed his active duty and was honorably discharged in 1964.

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.