TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored three veterans, including two brothers, with the Medal of Patriotism during the July meeting of the Council of the Cherokee Nation.
Bruce P. Jacobs, 67, of Muskogee; Leo Lloyd Boney, 75, of Salina; and the late Roy Boney, who grew up in Wickliffe, were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.
Bruce P. Jacobs was born in 1955 and entered the Army in 1974. He was sent to California and then to Texas, where he was stationed for 12 months before transferring to Germany with the whole unit 2nd Armored Division. Jacobs finished his tour of duty in Germany and returned stateside, where he was honorably discharged in 1977 as a specialist E 4. Jacobs received the Expert Qualification Rifle Badge and the Expert Qualification Hand Grenade Badge.
“I’ve always felt it was a privilege to serve my country,” Jacobs said. “It was certainly a privilege to serve the Cherokee people. I think they’ve done a fantastic job and just hope they continue the good work.”
Leo Lloyd Boney was born in 1946 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1966. He was sent to San Diego, California, for boot camp, where infantry training taught him to operate the LVT EL, an amphibious landing vehicle. After boot camp, Leo Boney traveled from Barstow, California, to Hawaii, and then to Okinawa, Japan, and Da Nang, Vietnam. He spent 13 months in Vietnam before returning to California. Leo Boney received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal and was discharged in 1968.
Roy Boney, a fluent Cherokee speaker who could also read and write the language, was born in 1949 in Kenwood, Oklahoma. After high school, Roy Boney was drafted into the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, where he served from 1969 to 1970. After serving in the Marines, he later transferred to the Marine Reserves. He passed away on Feb. 11, 2021, at the age of 71. He was proud of his service and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Roy Boney Jr. accepted the honor on behalf of his father.
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, call 918-772-4166.