Cherokee Nation honors veterans in March



(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Jack Baker, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, U.S. Army veteran Thomas Sullivan and wife Virginia and grandsons Raul Salinas and Jake Sullivan and Tribal Councilor Wanda Hatfield.

, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored four U.S. Army veterans with the Medal of Patriotism during the March Tribal Council Meeting.

Michael Lewis Hudson, 50, of Mountain Home, Arkansas; Ronnie Leon Harrison, 72, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Franklind Ramon Lee, 66, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; and Thomas Lee Sullivan, 68, of Maysville, Arkansas, were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.

Sgt. Sullivan was born on July 11, 1947, in Blackwell and enlisted in the Army in 1966. Sullivan began his Army career in Fort Belvior, Virginia, receiving advanced training as a senior engineer equipment repairman. After completing his training and serving an additional deployment in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Sullivan was deployed to Vietnam in 1967. While in Vietnam, Sullivan served in the 84th Engineer Battalion. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1969, Sullivan and his wife, Virginia, made their home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

“I would like to thank the Cherokee Nation for everything that they do for their people, and our leadership for everything that they do for the Cherokee Nation,” said Sullivan.

Sgt. Lee was born on June 13, 1949, in Tracy, California. Lee enlisted in the Army in November of 1968, shortly after graduating high school and marrying his wife, Belva. Lee served in the Arkansas Army National Guard Battery B2-142nd Field Artillery Regiment for 22 years with a specialty in communications. During his 22 years of service, Lee served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield and held many positions, including communications chief. Lee is now retired and serves as an ordained deacon and Sunday school director at his church, and he is the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1674 in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Staff Sgt. Hudson was born January 30, 1966, in Tahlequah and enlisted in the Army in May of 1984, just three days after his high school graduation. Hudson served in overseas tours in the countries of Panama and Albania and held numerous titles, ranging from rifle squad leader to platoon sergeant and instructor. Hudson was eventually reclassified after injury as a human resource specialist. Hudson retired from the service after serving a total of 28 years and two days and currently resides in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Sgt. Harrison was born on January 14, 1944, in Cutler, California. Harrison enlisted in the Army in April of 1969 and was stationed in Hawaii, where he served with the 21st Air Division attached to the National Guard 25th Infantry Division before being deployed to Vietnam. Harrison served in Lau Bein, Da Nang and Chu Lai before he took early discharge. After discharge, Harrison made his home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Harrison, Sullivan and Lee are all members of VFW Post 1674 in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

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 918-772-4166.

Cherokee Nation News Release
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