The Cherokee Nation honored four veterans, three of them brothers, with the Medal of Patriotism at the January Tribal Council meeting on Monday.

Jack Crittenden, 86, of Tahlequah; Roger Jennings, 70, of Stillwater; Stephen Jennings, 78, of Pryor; and Raymond Jennings Jr., 66, of Collinsville, were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.

"I just want to say it was an honor and it was a privilege to serve with and to command what I consider to be America's greatest resource," said Raymond Jennings Jr. "And those are the young men and women who volunteer to serve their country."

Crittenden was born in 1933 in Baron, and entered the military in 1953, and served in an air transport squadron 1953-1955 as an airman. Crittenden was part of the Transport Squadron UR-22 Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia. He finished his reserve time after separation totaling eight years as a Seaman Recruit E 1, when he was honorably discharged in 1955.

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, call 918-772-4166.

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