cherokee nation

(L-R) District 14 Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, veterans Raymond Jennings Jr., Stephen Jennings and Roger Jennings, At-Large Tribal Councilor Julia Coates, District 15 Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, At-Large Tribal Councilor Mary Baker Shaw, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., and Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. Courtesy photo

The Cherokee Nation honored four veterans, three of them brothers, with the Medal of Patriotism at the January Tribal Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 13.

Raymond Jennings Jr., 66, of Collinsville — along with his brothers, Roger Jennings, 70, of Stillwater, and Stephen Jennings, 78, of Pryor, as well as Jack Crittenden, 86, of Tahlequah — were recognized for their service and sacrifice to their country.

Each month, the Cherokee Nation pays tribute to Cherokee service men and women for their efforts and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which all veterans are held by the tribe.

“I just want to say it was an honor and it was a privilege to serve with and to command what I consider to be America’s greatest resource,” Raymond said. “And those are the young men and women who volunteer to serve their country.”

Raymond was born in 1953 in Georgia and was commissioned to second lieutenant after completing the Army ROTC program at Oklahoma State University in 1975. He reported to active duty in 1997 and completed the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course. He served as a chaparral platoon leader and assistant operations officer in Germany.

In 1983, Raymond attended a college of law as an advocate general’s corps officer. In addition, he served as the chief of military justice with the 101 Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from 1986 to 1989. Raymond completed his active duty career serving as the chief of the Eastern U.S. Torts Branch at the Army Claims service, and retired in 1998.

Raymond’s brother, Roger, was also born in 1948 in Dixon, Illinois, and entered the Coast Guard in 1967. He was discharged in 1971 as a Damage Control 2/ E 5.

Additionally, Stephen was born in 1940 and entered the Army in 1967 and attended officer candidate school in Oklahoma. He returned stateside as a battery commander before being honorably discharged as a captain in 1973.

To nominate a veteran who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, call 918-772-4166.