(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith, U.S. Army veteran Fields Smith, Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Tribal Councilor Bryan Warner.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored U.S. Army and U.S. Navy veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the March Tribal Council meeting.
Fields Smith, 84, of Vian, and Kenneth Golden, 68, of Stilwell, were recognized by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service to their country.
Sgt. Smith was born in 1933 and drafted into the Army in 1955. Smith completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and trained to become an infantryman. Later, he completed Fire Directing Control School and was sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana where he spent the remainder of his two-year service term. During his service, Smith completed non-commission school and received a sharpshooter medal for his rifle skills. Smith received an honorable discharge in 1957.
“I want to thank the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Tribal Council for all of the good work that they do for our people,” Smith said.
Sgt. Golden was born in 1949 and enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Golden completed basic training in Chicago. After basic training, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as an aviation boatman mate. During his service, Golden was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1972.
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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