(L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, U.S. Air Force veteran Johnny Callison, Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Tribal Councilor Keith Austin.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored two U.S. Air Force veterans and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the May Tribal Council meeting.
Johnny L. Callison, 72, of Claremore; Thomas Franklin Conseen, 70, of Pryor; and Rudy L. Glass, 73, of Blackwell, were recognized by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service to their country.
Sgt. Callison was born June 26, 1945, and joined the Air Force in 1965. Callison completed basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and was deployed to Vietnam a few months later. He spent five months with the B-52 bomb squadron in Vietnam to support the ground troops. Callison was honorably discharged in 1969 and received the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Medal 900-3 for his service.
“I really appreciate this. I never have gotten an award like this. When you’re in the military, you don’t get a whole lot of awards, and I really appreciate it,” Callison said.
Sgt. Conseen was born March 24, 1948, and joined the Air Force in 1966 after graduating high school. Conseen completed basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and then transferred to Sherman Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He was assigned to the 70th Bomb Wing Squadron and was deployed to Anderson Air Base in Guam. From Guam, the squadron supported the ground efforts of troops serving in Vietnam and Thailand. Conseen was honorably discharged in 1969 and received the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and the Air Force Medal 900-3.
Sgt. Glass was born Jan. 11, 1943, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1964. Glass completed training at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California before being deployed to Iwakuni, Japan. He was then transferred to Vietnam in 1965. Glass was stationed at Da Nang, Vietnam, where he worked as an air freight transportation clerk and operation freight vehicle loader. He returned to the United States in 1966 and was honorably discharged in 1968. Glass received the Vietnam Service Medal with one star, the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal for his service.
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.
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