(L-R): Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, Councilor Candessa Tehee, Henry Carey Jr., Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch.


TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation honored two veterans with the Medal of Patriotism during the May meeting of the Council of the Cheroke Nation.

Frank Alexander Wright of Westville and Henry Carey Jr. of Tahlequah were recognized by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch and Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service and sacrifice to their country.

Frank Alexander Wright joined the United States Navy on Feb. 4, 1952. Wright served on the ship USS John R. Craig, (DD-885). Wright was a signal man who sent and received messages by flags or lights along with steering the ship. He wrote the ship’s logs and records of events. During the Korean War, Wright eliminated guns on share, railroads, along with tanks and mine layers while patrolling the area.

Wright made a second tour to Japan and was hospitalized. He received two operations but was able to continue his duties two months after. On deployment overseas, Wright patrolled between Taiwan, formerly known as the Republic of Formosa, and China. Afterwards, he was assigned to the USS Prairie until he was honorably discharged on Feb. 4, 1960. Wright received the Korean Service Medal (1 Star), United Nations Service Medal, China Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

(L-R): Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, Councilor Johnny Kidwell, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Frank Alexander Wright, Councilor Julia Coates, Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch.

Henry Carey Jr. enlisted in the United States Navy on May 30, 1977, and completed boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois. Carey then went to the Naval Training Center San Diego for his military occupational specialty trainings and was assigned to the USS Semmes, (DDG 18). Carey was part of the medical cruise and served in two North Atlantic crises and several Caribbean cruises. He also had several military deployments in the North Atlantic and Middle Eastern theatres. Later, he served in the Oklahoma National Guard 145 Calvary Troop E and had many deployments. Carey was honorably discharged on May 30, 1981. Carey received the Battle E Award.     

“Thank you all, I’m proud to serve my country,” Carey said. “We are from America and we have to serve our land. Thank you so much.”

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.