Cherokee Nation Honors Two Veterans With Medal of Patriotism

Cherokee Veteran Henry Carey Jr.
L-R: Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden; Councilor Candessa Tehee; Henry Carey Jr.; Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.; and Chief of Staff Dr. Corey Bunch.

TAHLEQUAH, OK – 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.

Wright joined the United States Navy in 1952. He 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. He was then 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.

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

Carey enlisted in the United States Navy in 1977, and completed boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. He 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 theaters. Later, he served in the Oklahoma National Guard 145 Calvary Troop E and had many deployments. Carey was honorably discharged on May 30, 1981 and received the Battle E Award.     

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