TULSA, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation’s ninth Cherokee Warrior Flight departed Tuesday for Washington, D.C., with 10 veterans who served during the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terrorism eras.
The Cherokee Nation funds the flight for Cherokee veterans to see the national war memorials erected in their honor at the nation’s capital.
“These Cherokee Warriors have been such a blessing to us all for their selfless sacrifices that they’ve made,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “I know they are in store for some healing and fellowship. I’m so thankful to get to see them go on this trip. These Cherokee veterans served their country and the Cherokee Nation commendably and I can’t thank them enough.”
On Tuesday, a luncheon was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa to present the warriors with vests and caps ahead of their flight to Washington, D.C.
Johnnie Cotton, of Oklahoma City, served in the Marines during Vietnam.
“I’m looking most forward to getting to fly and see the memorials in Washington, D.C.,” Cotton said.
John Carleton, of Owasso, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era.
“In regard to the Cherokee Nation and the flight, I’m really thankful that they’re still interested in us and I thank them for the loyal support that they have given us,” Carleton said. “Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., I’ve appreciated what he’s done for us.”
During the four-day trip, Cherokee Warriors will tour the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Vietnam Wall Memorial and a number of other sites.
“I’m just thrilled and honored to be joining in on another Warrior Flight,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran, said. “To be in our nation’s capital with fellow veterans is just an unmatchable experience and such a blessing.”
Veterans will return to Tulsa International Airport on Friday, September 15.
The Cherokee Warrior Flight is similar to the national honor flight organization’s goal of helping veterans, willing and able, to see the memorials dedicated to honor their service.
Veterans participating in the 2023 Cherokee Warrior Flight include:
David Floyd, 66, Army, of Wagoner
Raymond Buzzard Jr., 76, Army, of Marble City
Conn Davis, 77, Air Force, of South Coffeyville
Doyle Clark, 79, Marines, of Muskogee
William Lawrie Jr., 79, Army, of Collinsville
Johnnie Cotton, 68, Marines, of Oklahoma City
John Carleton, 79, Air Force, of Owasso
Gorge Carter Jr., 70, Air Force, of Gore
Global War on Terrorism
Jared Harnar, 52, Marines, of Springfield, Missouri
Stieven Davidson, 57, Air Force, of Fort Worth, Texas