Cherokee Nation honors three brothers with Medal of Patriotism


Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, brothers and military veterans Johnny Tanner, Daniel Tanner and Michael Tanner and Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored a trio of brothers with the Medal of Patriotism at a special medal presentation Wednesday.

Daniel Ray Tanner, 67, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; Michael Ray Tanner, 51, of Jay; and Johnny Lee Tanner, 75, of Jay, received the medal from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledging their service to the country.

Sgt. Major Daniel Tanner was born Jan. 13, 1949, in Eucha and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. Tanner was deployed to Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. Along with several other deployments, he served as an ROTC instructor and Forces Command of the Minnesota National Guard Advisor and attended U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. Tanner retired from the Army in 1991 after 23 years and five months of honorable service. He now lives in White Bear Lake but said his heart is still in Eucha, Oklahoma.

“To be recognized by the tribe like this, I really do appreciate it,” Tanner said. “I’ve been thinking about this honor for so long and have seen others get it. I couldn’t wait to get it, because it is from the Cherokee Nation.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Turner was born Dec. 20, 1964, and entered the U.S. Navy in 1984. Tanner received his basic training in San Diego and attended the Navy Marine Intelligence Training Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He served on three western Pacific cruises and in Hawaii at Commander Air Wing Patrol. Tanner was an intelligence specialist when he received his honorable discharge in 1991.

Cpl. Johnny Tanner was born July 20, 1941, and drafted into the Army in 1963. Tanner received basic training at Fort Polk in Louisiana and advanced individual training on Howitzer self-propelled artillery at Fort Knox in Kentucky and at Little Falls, Vermont. He was stationed at Fort Knox for three years, where he played both football and baseball for special duty. Tanner also trained the Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania, ROTC on self-propelled artillery. Tanner furthered his training on self-propelled artillery in the Dominican Republic and received an honorable discharge in 1965. After being discharged, Tanner spent two years in the Army Reserve at Fort Chaffee in 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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