Cherokee Nation honors veterans at March Tribal Council meeting


(L to R) Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Tribal Councilor Julia Coates, veteran Deborah Ann Crossland, Treasurer Lacey Horn and Tribal Councilor Jack Baker.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans with the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism at its March Tribal Council meeting.

Paul Thomas Caskey Sr., 89, of Adair; Arthur Carter, 79, of Gore; and Deborah Ann Crossland, 61, of Sedona, Ariz., received a medal and plaque from Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Treasurer Lacey Horn March 10, acknowledging their service to the country.

Sgt. Crossland was born on July 17, 1952, to Thomas Crossland and Irene Logan, in Muskogee. In 1970, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps and completed basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala. Crossland, who was permanently stationed at Fort McClellan, was awarded honor trainee of her platoon and selected to serve in the elite Women’s Army Corps. After her honorable discharge in 1973, she immediately began serving in the 101st Army National Guard Band in Denver. Crossland served more than 20 years in various military roles around the country before retiring in 2003. Crossland earned the National Defense Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster and an Army Good Conduct Medal, among other awards. Crossland now lives in Sedona, Ariz., and is a member of the Valley of the Sun Cherokees, a community group of the Cherokee Nation.

“I think it’s significant that the Cherokee Nation is recognizing its veterans, because if we don’t, how can we expect anyone else to?” Crossland said.

Pfc. Caskey was born Aug. 28, 1924, to Claude and Golie Caskey, in Webbers Falls. The youngest of four children, Caskey joined the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1943 and completed his basic training in San Diego. After basic and advanced training, he deployed to the South Pacific and was stationed at the Solomon Islands, Mary Anna Islands and Volcanic Islands. When World War II ended, Caskey returned to the United States and received an honorable discharge in December 1945. He and his wife, Shirley, now live Adair and have five children.

Seaman Carter was born on Oct. 12, 1934, to Albert and Callie Carter, in Gore. At the age of 14, Carter entered the rodeo circuit as a bull rider and later became a rodeo judge. In 1952, he joined the U. S. Navy and completed his basic training in San Diego. After basic training, Carter was sent to Litchfield Park Fire Station in Phoenix for fire training. He was placed on the USS Hancock as a gunner’s mate. Carter served on the carrier while off the coast of Korea. After 1955, Carter returned to the United States and served four additional years in the Naval Reserve. He received an honorable discharge in 1960. Carter married his wife, Marina, and the couple had six children. He earned an associate’s degree in science from Connors State College in 1971.

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, please call 918-453-5541 or 800-256-0671, ext. 5541.

Cherokee Nation News Release
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