Cherokee Nation honors military servicemen in February


(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Principal Chief Bill John Baker present brothers Eddie Noel, David Noel and James Noel with the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism, with Tribal Councilors Julia Coates and Jack Baker.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored an active-duty soldier, a Vietnam veteran and a trio of veteran brothers with the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism at its February Tribal Council meeting.

Jeremy Scott Seaman, 24, of Tahlequah; Jerry Hogner, 68, of Tulsa; and brothers David Noel, 60, Eddie Noel, 62, and James Noel, 66, all of Miami, Okla., received a medal and plaque from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden on Feb. 10, acknowledging their service to the country.

Spc. Seaman was born in Fayetteville, Ark., in 1989, to Michelle Smith and Scott Seaman. He enlisted in the Army on May 3, 2011, and took basic and advanced training at Fort Benning, Ga., as part of the 19th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion. He was then stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y., for additional infantry training with the 10th Mountain Division, 22nd Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, Alpha Company. On May 6, 2013, he was deployed to Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, as part of the 10th Aviation Division, 2nd Battalion Pathfinders, F Company. His unit was responsible for recovering downed aircraft, providing initial medical treatment, recovering drones and monitoring helicopter repairs. Seaman returned home on Jan. 14, 2014, but will leave in March for additional training and redeployment to Afghanistan in 2015.

“I feel completely blessed being in the military, because it’s opened up a lot more doors,” Seaman said. “It’s an experience that I’ll never forget, and this award just makes me that much prouder about what I’m doing.”

Seaman Hogner was born in Tahlequah June 6, 1945, to Skake and Tommie Hogner and raised in Adair County. In 1964, a year after graduating from Chilocco Indian School, he enlisted in the Navy and received flight deck training in Philadelphia. He was then stationed on the USS Kitty Hawk and deployed to Vietnam twice, bringing fighter jets aboard the carrier safely. He received orders to return home shortly before his third deployment. Hogner retired from the workforce and currently resides in Tulsa.

Petty Officer 3rd Class David Noel was born in 1953 in Claremore to Joseph and Anna Noel. He graduated from Miami High School and enlisted in the Navy in 1972. He attended boot camp and electrician and electronics schools at Great Lakes, Ill. David served aboard the USS Yellowstone in Charleston, S.C., providing maintenance support for destroyers of the Atlantic Fleet from 1972 until Sept. 11, 1974. He then served aboard the ammunition ship USS Santa Barbara, replenishing destroyers and aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War until Dec. 23, 1975. After his tour of service, David attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. He married Janice Myers and has two daughters, Rikki and Randi, and two grandchildren, Charli and Ryder. David currently works for the campus police department at NEO as a lieutenant on the day shift.

Sgt. Eddie Noel was born on Dec. 15, 1951. He graduated from Miami High School, NEO and the University of Oklahoma’s Physician Associate Program at the Health Science Center in Oklahoma City. He was drafted into the Army in 1972. He received basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Mo., and advanced training at Fort Gordon, Ga., to be a radio teletype operator. Eddie served in the 1st Infantry Division, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 75th Field Artillery in Fort Sill. He was discharged in October 1974 and served four years in the Oklahoma National Guard. He has been employed at the Choctaw Nation for 26 years. He was the 2013 Oklahoma Academy of Physicians Assistants Rural PA of the year.

Sgt. James Noel was born March 13, 1947. He joined the Army National Guard, 45th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, “Thunderbird” unit while attending Chilocco Indian School. The day after graduation he was sent to Fort Polk, La., for basic training and then to Fort Ord, Calif., for infantry training. He was honorably discharged in November 1970. James is an accomplished printer and artist, with two published books of his artwork. He currently lives in Miami with his wife, Kandy. They have five children and many grandchildren.

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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