TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored two veterans with the Medal of Patriotism at the February Tribal Council meeting on Feb. 10.

Danny Stanley, 70, of Collinsville and Vinnus Hilderbrand, 68, of Watts, 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.

“I’d like to thank the Cherokee Nation for honoring the veterans,” said Hilderbrand. “I didn’t think I’d receive anything like this. I just thank you for the appreciation that you all give us for what we’ve done, and we won’t be forgot.”

Vinnus Hilderbrand was born in 1950 in Chewey, and drafted in 1970. He was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was sent to armor training in Kentucky. He then went on to Fulda Gap, Germany, where he stationed with the Army 1/14th Armored Calvary Division, and patrolled the communist border. Mr. Hilderbrand returned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 1972, where he was honorably discharged as an E 4 Specialist.

Danny Stanley was born in 1949 in Collinsville, and entered the Army in 1967. He was sent to Korea with the 7th Infantry Division. While in Korea, his unit was called out numerous times to serve at the 38th Parallel DMZ. Mr. Stanley and the 7th Infantry Division were always on standby ready as the North Koreans crossed over into South Korea. His unit was also sent to the DMZ on standby, when the North Koreans took over the ship USS Pueblo in 1968. After Mr. Stanley returned stateside to Fort Lewis, Washington, he was honorably discharged as a Private E 2.

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.

Additional Photos