3 Cherokee vets honored in December

BY STAFF REPORTS
12/19/2019 01:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Tribal Councilor Mike Shambaugh, Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, veteran Hommer Turtle, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner pose for a photo on Dec. 16 as Turtle is honored for his military service. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Julia Coates, veteran Charles Tritthart, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Tribal Councilor Mary Baker Shaw and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner pose for a photo as the tribe honors Tritthart for his military service. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan, Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, veteran David Floyd, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner pose for a photo as the tribe honors Floyd for his military service. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation officials honored three Cherokee veterans each with a Medal of Patriotism at the Dec. 16 Tribal Council meeting. 

Hommer Turtle, 75, of Oaks; Charles Tritthart, 72, of Edmond; and David Floyd, 62, of Wagoner, were recognized by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, as well as tribal councilors for their service and sacrifice to their country.

“On behalf of the Cherokee Nation, I am very humbled and honored to be chosen for this warrior award,” Turtle said. “I am honored to have served in the U.S. army for two years. And I am very grateful for the Cherokee Nation to be doing this award ceremony. I’m grateful for the Council members that work tirelessly for the benefit of all Cherokees.” 

Turtle was born in 1944 and was drafted into the Army in 1965. He finished his training in Louisiana and was sent to Houston to report to the 25th Transportation Company assigned as a personal military staff driver to escort higher-ranking officers on and off base.

In 1966, Turtle deployed to Vietnam for 11 months, where he became a member of the 168th Combat Engineer Battalion and the 557th Engineers. He returned to the states in 1967 and was honorably discharged as an E-5 sergeant. 

Tritthart was born in 1946 in Vinita and entered the Army in 1966. He was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, then sent to Fort Sill. Tritthart was deployed to Germany and assigned to the 35th Armor Tank Division stationed in Erlangen, Germany. He returned to the states to Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1968 and was honorably discharged as an E-5 sergeant. 

Floyd was born in 1956 in Claremore and entered the Army in 1974. He was sent to Louisiana and his first duty station was the artillery unit Redlegs in Fort Sill. Then he was sent overseas to Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where his unit was close to the East German Communist Border. After he spent a year and a half in Bad Hersfeld, he returned to the states in 1978, with the 3rd Squadron 11th Armed Calvary Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was honorably discharged as a Specialist 4. 

Each month the CN 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 CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.

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