CLAREMORE, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Keith Austin and Cherokee Nation Businesses employees joined other tribal and community volunteers in showing appreciation to ill and injured veterans this month.

As part of Cherokee Nation’s long-running Valentines for Vets program, CNB’s Community Impact Team made and helped deliver homemade valentine cards thanking residents at local veterans centers for their military service.

Last week, the Claremore Veterans Center hosted its annual Valentine Banquet for Veterans and Their Sweetheart. Sponsored by Cherokee Nation, the festive luncheon included live music and a sparkling grape juice toast. Veterans and their significant others also received flowers, as well as valentine cards and candy.

After spending the morning visiting with the men and women being cared for at the Veterans Center, Councilor Austin and employees from the tribe’s business and entertainment arm partnered with volunteers from the American Red Cross, Rogers State University’s golf team and students from Pryor High School to help with the annual banquet.

Earlier this month, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner, Chief of Staff Todd Enlow and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden kicked off Cherokee Nation’s Valentine for Vets events by personally delivering hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards to veterans at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee.

Valentines were delivered to area veteran centers and hospitals in Claremore, Tahlequah, Muskogee, Jay, Fayetteville, Sallisaw, Vinita and Talihina. Additional handmade cards made by CNB employees, tribal employees, area schools, churches and individuals are also given each year to veterans during the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center annual Valentine’s Day celebration.

For more information on the Cherokee Nation’s Valentines for Vets program, call the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center at 918-772-4166.