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News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: May 01, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • Brian Wallace, Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate with the U.S. Coast Guard, served as school chief at the Coast Guard Class-A training center in Yorktown, Virginia, before retiring in 2019.

  • An oil painting depicting Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Brian Wallace is displayed at the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. In the painting, Wallace (second from left) takes aim in full gear as part of an anti-terrorism Maritime Safety and Security Team.

  • Chickasaw veteran Brian Wallace’s retirement flag -- now encased in a shadow box alongside memorabilia representing his history and feats -- made a ceremonial stop in Ada at the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge.

  • The Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge, located at 1909 Warrior Way., is designed to serve retired and active duty Chickasaw military members, as well as provide a place for veterans to gather and enjoy the camaraderie of other veterans. For Brian Wallace, Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate with the U.S. Coast Guard, the lodge will be a last stop for his retirement flag because it represents coming home.

ADA, Okla. – A Chickasaw U.S. military service member chose the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge to be one of the ceremonial stops for his retirement flag.

Brian Wallace, Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate with the U.S. Coast Guard, served as school chief at the Coast Guard Class-A training center in Yorktown, Virginia. Similar to a superintendent, Wallace oversaw eight schools, which trained newer members of the Coast Guard for their specialized roles.

Wallace was born and raised in Purcell. His overall service spanned 26 years and has taken him to Aruba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Panama Canal and on three different trips to the Middle East.

As a gunner’s mate, Wallace focused on the operation of naval guns as well as basic explosives, guidance and tracking systems, small arms, naval ammunition classification and safety. He went on to prepare new members of the Coast Guard for these same duties at Yorktown.

Before his retirement ceremony March 29 in Virginia, Wallace’s flag traveled to a number of units in which he served – one location for each ascending rank he obtained. These locations included Yorktown, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; St. Petersburg, Florida; St. Marys, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Portsmouth, Virginia.

Wallace specifically asked for his flag to travel to the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge in Ada. It is the first such request the Chickasaw Nation has received, according to Phillip Billy, Chickasaw Nation Director of Veterans Affairs.

“It is a great honor to have Senior Chief Brian Wallace’s retirement flag flown at the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge,” Billy said. “His commitment to service to our country demonstrates the Chickasaw warrior spirit.”

At each stop, the flag was raised during morning colors, flown throughout the day and taken down during evening colors, then shipped to the next location.

In this way, his flag followed the same path Wallace did over the years.

At the end of the journey the flag was shipped back to Wallace’s unit in Yorktown and presented to him during his retirement ceremony. It was encased in a shadow box with memorabilia and tokens representing his military history and feats.

“The ceremony is mainly for my family to see where I’ve been and what I’ve done,” Wallace said. “Now, I’m coming back to Oklahoma to visit.”

Thinking back on his time in the Coast Guard, Wallace said he recalled a few fond highlights – he jokingly mentioned how many more stories he’d have to share if they were all cleared for public knowledge.

There was the time Wallace and his team made an exceptional drug bust. His family in Oklahoma called him excited about catching a glimpse of Wallace on the nightly news.

One memory is still hanging at the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is a large oil painting of Wallace posed in full gear from his time working in anti-terrorism on a Maritime Safety and Security Team.

“We were an anti-terrorism boarding team, fast roping out of helicopters,” Wallace said. “The painting represents our law enforcement community, the anti-terrorism team.”

Wallace, who is a Chickasaw Warrior Society member, said he preferred the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge as a last stop for his retirement flag because it represented where he comes from.

“I’m Chickasaw. That’s how I grew up,” he said. “When the Veterans Lodge opened up, I said, you know what, I want my flag over there. They are the people taking care of the veterans. It would be an honor for me to fly my flag, as its last stop, there.”

The lodge is a place where Chickasaw veterans can seek help in times of need, where programs and services are readily available and where veterans can comfortably gather and enjoy the camaraderie of their brothers-in-arms.

While a symbolic returning home for Wallace, the lodge is also a home away from home for all Chickasaw veterans.

About the Chickasaw Warrior Society

The renowned reputation of Chickasaw warriors is centuries old. Ancient Chickasaws were known as a warrior nation who formed societies to fiercely participate in battle. These warrior societies were ingrained into the Chickasaw way of life.

The tradition of the Chickasaw warrior has continued to present day, where Chickasaw men and women have answered the call to serve our nation in every branch of the military, and have fought for their country on numerous battlefields throughout the world.

Chickasaw veterans are invited to visit the Veterans Lodge located on the Ada South Campus, 1909 Warrior Way. The 14,500-square-foot facility provides a place to gather for fellowship. Staff are trained to help veterans find and apply for benefits available to them through the Chickasaw Nation and state and federal governments.

For more information about the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge or other services offered through Chickasaw Nation Veterans Affairs, call (580) 272-2550 or visit Chickasaw.net/Veterans.

Last Updated: 09/16/2016