Cherokee veterans thanked for service

04/23/2019 09:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Vietnam veteran Junior L. Chewey, left, is honored as a Cherokee Warrior on April 15 during a Tribal Council meeting as Tribal Councilor Buel Anglen looks on. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
U.S. Army veteran Jewell D. Garrison, right, speaks after receiving the Cherokee Nation’s Medal of Patriotism on April 15 from Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Flanked by Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, Korean War veteran George W. Tipton Sr. accepts the Cherokee Nation’s Medal of Patriotism during a council meeting on April 15. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – Three U.S. Army veterans were awarded the Cherokee Nation’s Medal of Patriotism on April 15.

The CN citizens, honored as Cherokee Warriors, were awarded the medals during a ceremony that has become a staple of monthly Tribal Council meetings. Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran, presided.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, I want to thank you sir for your service to this country,” Crittenden told the first honoree, Army veteran Junior L. Chewey, of Broken Arrow.
Chewey enlisted in 1964, then later served two tours in Vietnam. He was assigned to a unit responsible for “immediate response worldwide in hostage rescue and other emergency crisis situations,” according to the CN.

He retired from the military after 22 years with the rank of master sergeant.

“I grew up near Stilwell, Oklahoma,” Chewey said. “I moved away from there in 1960 when my grandmother died, and I’ve been gone a long time. It’s good to come back and see what Cherokee Nation is doing for the Cherokee people, and this is a part of what they’re doing, recognizing veterans. So keep up the good work.”

Chewey’s military honors include:

• Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal;

• Meritorious Service Medal;

• Army commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster;

• Army Achievement Medal;

• Army Good Conduct Medal 6th Award;

• National Defense Service Medal;

• Vietnam Service Medal;

• Vietnam Campaign Medal;

• Gallantry Cross with Palm Branch;

• Parachute Badge; and

• Pathfinder Badge.

A Medal of Patriotism was also bestowed upon Army veteran Jewell D. Garrison, of Oklahoma City.

“I’m so proud of my heritage,” Garrison said.

Garrison was drafted into the Army in 1953, then was later shipped to Schwabisch Gmund, Germany, for a tour of duty.

“Mr. Garrison returned stateside, and was honorably discharged as an E4 corporal in 1955,” Crittenden said.

Garrison’s military honors include:

• American Campaign Medal (Germany);

• National Defense Medal; and

• Army Good Conduct Medal.

Korean War veteran George W. Tipton Sr., of Pryor, was the evening’s final honoree. He entered the Army in 1952.

During his tour overseas, Tipton was a battalion mail clerk in charge of delivery to soldiers stationed north of the 38th parallel, according to the CN.

Tipton returned stateside and was stationed at Camp Carson in Colorado when he was honorably discharged in 1954 as an Army corporal.

Tipton’s military honors include:

• Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars;

• United Nations Service Medal;

• Army Good Conduct Medal; and

• National Defense Service Medal.
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