TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored three veterans with the Medal of Patriotism at the December Tribal Council meeting on Dec. 16.

Hommer Turtle, 75, of Oaks; Charles Tritthart, 72, of Edmond; and David Floyd, 62, of Wagoner, 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.

“On behalf of the Cherokee Nation I am very humbled and honored to be chosen for this warrior award,” said Turtle. “I am honored to have served in the U.S. army for two years. And I am very grateful for the Cherokee Nation to be doing this award ceremony. I’m grateful for the Council members that work tirelessly for the benefit of all Cherokees.”

Turtle was born in 1944 and was drafted into the Army in 1965. He finished his training in Louisiana and was sent to Houston, Texas, to report to the 25th Transportation Company assigned as a personal military staff driver to escort higher-ranking officers on and off base. In 1966, Mr. Turtle deployed to Vietnam for 11 months, where he became a member of the 168th Combat Engineer Battalion and the 557th Engineers. Mr. Turtle returned to the states in 1967 where he was honorably discharged as an E 5 Sergeant.

Tritthart was born in 1946 in Vinita and entered the Army in 1966. He was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, then sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Mr. Tritthart was deployed to Germany and assigned to the 35th Armor Tank Division stationed in Erlangen, Germany. He returned to the states to Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1968 and was honorably discharged as an E 5 Sergeant.

Floyd was born in 1956 in Claremore and entered the Army in 1974. He was sent to Louisiana and his first duty station was the artillery unit Redlegs in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Then he was sent overseas to Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where his unit was close to the East German Communist Border. After Mr. Floyd spent a year and a half in Bad Hersfeld, he returned to the states in 1978, with the 3rd Squadron 11th Armed Calvary Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was honorably discharged as a Specialist 4.

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.

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