The Cherokee Nation honored a Vian veteran recently. At the ceremony are, from the left,
Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, U.S. Army veteran Leonard McCarty of Vian,
Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Tribal Councilor David Thornton.
The Cherokee Nation honored a Vietnam veteran with the Medal of Patriotism at the October Tribal Council meeting.
Leonard McCarty, 77, of Vian received the medal from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledging his service to the country.
Sgt. 1st Class McCarty was born July 12, 1939, in Owasso and joined the U.S. Army in 1958. McCarty completed basic training at Fort Carson in Colorado and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He spent the next 10 years of his military career improving and building infrastructure on U.S. military bases.
In 1968, McCarty deployed to Vietnam where he was part of a team that recovered and retrieved fallen soldiers so that their bodies could be shipped home. After his tour in Vietnam, McCarty returned to the United States and was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, where he wrote training and testing materials as part of a forward-planning process for the Army. McCarty retired from the Army in 1978 after 20 years of service.
“It was an honor to serve my country, to serve my nation and to serve the people of my country. I would not have changed anything in my life,” McCarty said. “I’m just proud to be a Cherokee.”
McCarty received numerous medals and ribbons for his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, six Good Conduct Medals, Vietnam Service Medal with five campaign stars and more.
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.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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