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News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: December 06, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • Back row, from left: Doyle Emberson, John Hobbs, Edgar Homer, Billy Callen, Ewing Ragland and Ron Murrell. Middle row, from left: Jim Kinnebrew, Jackson Kinnebrew, John McKoy III, Tommy Williams, Bobby Blevins and David Dowdy. Front row, from left: Gary Crittenden, Jimmie Ragland, Larry Horton, Alice Saxon and Kerry Armstrong.

  • From left, Chickasaw Vietnam War veterans Doyle Emberson, Bobby Blevins and Larry Horton presented a Chickasaw Elder Veterans wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wreath laying ceremony on Veterans Day. They were joined by Chickasaw Nation Veterans Services Veterans Advocate Ray Orphan, right.

  • Four Chickasaw veterans laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 12. The veterans were, from left, Gary Crittenden, Alice Saxon, Ron Murrel and Edgar Homer.

  • The Chickasaw Elder Veterans wreath in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chickasaw Nation warriors laid wreaths at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

The veterans, all from the Vietnam War era, were part of 17 Chickasaw veterans and citizens who attended a five-day trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation. Each year, the tribe sends its warriors here to enjoy the sights, take part in Veterans Day memorial ceremonies and allow them an opportunity to meet other Chickasaws who served. The 2019 warriors served America in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard.

Three Chickasaw Vietnam veterans presented a Chickasaw Elder Veterans wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at a special Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11. They included Sulphur, Oklahoma, resident Bobby Blevins, a Marine Corps veteran; Midwest City, Oklahoma, resident Doyle Emberson, an Army veteran; and Ada, Oklahoma, resident Larry Horton, an Army veteran.

Four Chickasaw Vietnam veterans presented a Chickasaw Elder Veterans wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Tuesday, Nov. 12. They included Southlake, Texas, resident Ron Murrell, an Army veteran; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, resident Gary Crittenden, a Marine Corps veteran; Lone Grove, Oklahoma, resident Alice Saxon, an Air Force veteran; and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, resident Edgar Homer, an Army veteran.

Crittenden said he remembers everyone with whom he served.

“It’s a life changing, life altering decision – going into the military – and I’m very glad I did,” he said.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the trip is an expression of appreciation to Chickasaws who have served our country.

“We owe a special debt of gratitude to those men and women who serve in the armed forces to defend our freedoms and way of life,” said Governor Anoatubby. “While it is certainly important to express our appreciation for their service on Veterans Day, it is always appropriate to honor these individuals for their sacrifice and dedication.”

This year’s trip took the warriors to monuments and memorials in our nation’s capital, including Veterans Day ceremonies at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and World War II Memorial, the United States Capitol, National Archives, National Museum of the American Indian and other locations.

The Chickasaw Nation provides veterans with increased benefits and services, including the Chickasaw Warrior Society. The warrior society was formed by Governor Anoatubby in 2015, as an organization to encourage community, establish and support camaraderie, and personify the Chickasaw warrior spirit. The Chickasaw Nation also opened the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge on the Ada South Campus near the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada.

The site was selected to assist veterans in a centralized location. It serves by helping them conveniently access all resources available through the Chickasaw Nation and other sources. It also functions as a place for members of the Chickasaw Warrior Society, other veterans and those in active service to come together for fellowship and build relationships.