Cherokee Nation honors 13 military veterans in January

January 16, 2019

Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden honored 13 military veterans with the Medal of Patriotism during the January Tribal Council meeting. Pictured L-R: Cherokee Nation Veterans Center Director Barbara Foreman, Army veteran Noah Welch, Army veteran Everett Sims, Army veteran Raymond Buzzard, Air Force veteran Robert Teague, Army veteran Russell Smith, Army veteran Clifford Bark, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Navy veteran Jimmy McGrath, Marine Corps veteran Anthony King, Coast Guard veteran Johnny Kidwell, Navy veteran Jeffrey Conseen, Marine Corps veteran Weston Henson and Navy veteran Ruben Talley. Not Picture: Oklahoma National Guard veteran Terry Thompson.Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden honored 13 military veterans with the Medal of Patriotism during the January Tribal Council meeting. Pictured L-R: Cherokee Nation Veterans Center Director Barbara Foreman, Army veteran Noah Welch, Army veteran Everett Sims, Army veteran Raymond Buzzard, Air Force veteran Robert Teague, Army veteran Russell Smith, Army veteran Clifford Bark, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Navy veteran Jimmy McGrath, Marine Corps veteran Anthony King, Coast Guard veteran Johnny Kidwell, Navy veteran Jeffrey Conseen, Marine Corps veteran Weston Henson and Navy veteran Ruben Talley. Not Picture: Oklahoma National Guard veteran Terry Thompson.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored 13 military veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the January Tribal Council meeting Monday.

The veterans were recognized by Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.

“The presentation of medals to our veterans is one of the great joys of my position,” Crittenden said. “We could never repay them for the sacrifices they made for our country, but we can show them gratitude and honor. Each veteran has played a role in protecting the freedoms and liberties of our great country, and I am so happy we, as a tribe, recognize the significance of that service.”

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.

Veterans honored Monday include:

• Lt. Cmdr. Johnny Kidwell, of Broken Arrow. Kidwell served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1991-2011. His decorations include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

• Sgt. Russell Smith, of Bartlesville. Smith served in the Army from 1967-69. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars and Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award.

• Sgt. Raymond Buzzard, of Marble City. Buzzard served in the Army from 1969-1971. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Expert Rifleman M-16 Badge.

• Pfc. Terry Thompson, of Warner. Thompson served in the Oklahoma National Guard from 1985-95. His decorations include a Sharpshooting M-16 Badge.

• Lt. Col. Jimmy McGrath, of Gore. McGrath served in the U.S. Navy from 1971-79 and the Army from 1982-96 and 2006-09. His decorations include the Bronze Star, Iraqi Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

• Cpl. Weston Henson, of Proctor. Henson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2007-12. His decorations include the Combat Action Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal and Sea Service Medal.

• Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Conseen, of Pryor. Conseen served in the Navy from 1989-93. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

• Spc. Clifford Bark, of Spavinaw. Bark served in the Army from 1971-73. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Marksman M-16 Badge.

• 1st Sgt. Everett Sims, of Westville. Sims served in the Army from 1969-89. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster and Army Achievement Medal.

• Petty Officer 3rd Class Ruben Talley, of Broken Arrow. Talley served in the Navy from 1957-63. His decorations include the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

• Lance Cpl. Anthony King, of Fort Gibson. King served in the Marine Corps from 1967-69. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and Expert Rifle Badge.

• Sgt. Robert Teague, of Tahlequah. Teague served in the Air Force from 1973-79. His decorations include the Outstanding Unit Award, Longevity Service Award and Good Conduct Medal.

• Spc. Noah Welch, of Muskogee. Welch served in the Army from 1967-99. His decorations include the Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal and Marksman M-14 Badge.

To nominate a veteran who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, please call 918-772-4166.