Cherokee Nation honors 2 veterans in February

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/17/2020 04:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
From left to right are Tribal Councilor Shawn Crittenden, Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, veteran Vinnus Hilderbrand, Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, Tribal Councilor Canaan Duncan and Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. Cherokee Nation officials honored Hilderbrand with a CN Medal of Patriotism on Feb. 10 for his military service. COURTESY 
Main Cherokee Phoenix
From left to right are Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, veteran Danny Stanley, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Councilor Joe Deere. Cherokee Nation officials honored Stanley with a CN Medal of Patriotism on Feb. 10 for his military service. COURTESY 
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation honored two veterans each with a Medal of Patriotism at the Feb. 10 Tribal Council meeting. 

Danny Stanley, 70, of Collinsville, and Vinnus Hilderbrand, 68, of Watts, were recognized by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country. 

“I’d like to thank the Cherokee Nation for honoring the veterans,” said Hilderbrand. “I didn’t think I’d receive anything like this. I just thank you for the appreciation that you all give us for what we’ve done, and we won’t be forgot.” 

Hilderbrand was born in 1950 in Chewey and drafted in 1970. He was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was sent to armor training in Kentucky. He then went to Fulda Gap, Germany, where he stationed with the Army 1/14th Armored Calvary Division, and patrolled the communist border. Hilderbrand returned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 1972, where he was honorably discharged as an E4 specialist. 

Stanley was born in 1949 in Collinsville, and entered the Army in 1967. He was sent to Korea with the 7th Infantry Division. While in Korea, his unit was called out numerous times to serve at the 38th Parallel DMZ. Mr. Stanley and the 7th Infantry Division were always on standby ready as the North Koreans crossed over into South Korea. His unit was also sent to the DMZ on standby, when the North Koreans took over the ship USS Pueblo in 1968. After Stanley returned stateside to Fort Lewis, he was honorably discharged as a Private E2. 

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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