Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Wanda Hatfield, U.S. Army veteran Roger Young and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation honored four veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the June Tribal Council meeting.
Doyle Clark, 73, of Muskogee; Douglas Ketcher, 70, of Colcord; Johnnie Walker, 71, of East Peoria, Illinois; and Roger Young, 77, of Van Buren, Arkansas, were recognized by Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service to their country.
Sgt. Clark was born in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1961. He completed training in San Diego, California, before being transferred to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. While in North Carolina, Clark volunteered for a tour on the Philippine Islands and served for 18 months. In 1967, he was also deployed to Vietnam where he served as a machine gunner. Clark was honorably discharged in 1969.
“Thank you very much for this award, because we didn’t get too much when I came back. It’s really an honor, and thank you very much,” Clark said.
Pfc. Ketcher was born in 1947 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964. Ketcher completed training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before being deployed to Vietnam in 1965. Ketcher served in the 58th Transportation Battalion in Operation Highland hauling ammo, military equipment and replacement troops on the beaches of Vietnam. Ketcher was honorably discharged in 1967, after reaching the rank of Private First Class.
Airman 1st Class Walker was born in 1945 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force through the buddy system program in 1963. Walker completed his training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio before being stationed at Myrtle Beach for three years. Later, Walker was transferred to Florida where he completed jungle training, and in 1967 he was deployed to Southeast Asia. That year, he spent 11 months and 28 days serving in Vietnam. Walker was honorably discharged in 1968.
Maj. Young was born in 1940 and enlisted in the Army in 1958. Young completed his training at Fort Carson in Colorado before being stationed in Munich, Germany, for five years. Young also served two years at Fort Lee in Virginia before being deployed to Vietnam for 13 months, and then he was transferred to Germany for two years and Korea for one year. In 1978, Young retired after 21 years of active service in the military.
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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