Courtesy Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden thanked Cherokee veterans and brothers Elmer Tadpole Jr. and Thomas Tadpole for their service to the country, as Principal Chief Bill John Baker presented the brothers their Cherokee Nation veteran awards.

Cherokee Medal of Patriotism Awarded to Sibling Veterans

Cherokee Nation Release

The Cherokee Nation honored a longtime Cherokee Nation employee and veteran brothers, during the August Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Elmer Tadpole Jr., 73, and Thomas Tadpole, 65, both of Claremore received a medal and plaque acknowledging the veterans’ service to the country from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Elmer was born June 27, 1940, to Elmer and Lillian Tadpole in Muskogee. On his 17th birthday Tadpole enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He completed basic training in San Diego and served on the USS Woodson and USS Hornet. He also served in the Philippines at a naval supply and training base. He received an honorable discharge in 1963. Tadpole received the Cold War Medal and Good Conduct Medal for his service. He now lives in Claremore with his wife Linda Sue. The couple has five children.

Staff Sgt. Thomas was born July 21, 1948, to Elmer and Lillian Tadpole, in Tulsa. He graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1966 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1968. Tadpole completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. After security police training, Tadpole volunteered for duty in Vietnam and served overseas from 1970-71 at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Tadpole received an honorable discharge in 1972 and was awarded various medals and ribbons including U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Presidential Unit Citation. He returned to Tulsa where he was re-employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 34 years, until his retirement in 2004. Then, he and his wife Floy moved to Claremore.

Chief Baker and Deputy Chief Crittenden also awarded Cherokee Nation security officer Richard Acorn, 79, of Stilwell a Medal of Patriotism and plaque for his service to the country.

Spc. Acorn was born July 20, 1934, to Lillie Mae Acorn and Fred Aguirre, in Stilwell, Oklahoma. Raised by his grandparents John and Adeline Acorn, he attended Mulberry Indian Day School in rural Adair County for eight years and graduated from Sequoyah Indian School in 1952. In 1957, Acorn was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. He stayed at Fort Chaffee for advanced training in Parts Supply School. After basic training, the U.S. Army sent Acorn to Mannheim, Germany, where he served as a supply specialist in charge of all military supplies. After Acorn’s tour in Germany, he and his family moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1959. Acorn’s remaining years of service were spent in the U.S. Army Reserves. He received an honorable discharge in 1963.

“I’m proud to be here and thankful to have a little part in the greatest army in the world, the United States Army,” Acorn said. “I’m part of the Cherokee Nation as well and I’m proud of that.”

Acorn moved back to Oklahoma in 1971 and has worked at the Cherokee Nation since 1983 in community development, housing, water and sanitation and security. He lives in Stilwell with his wife of 47 years, Judith. Acorn has three children with his first wife, the late Shirley Dreadfulwater and one son with his current wife, Judith.

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, please call (918) 453-5541 or (800) 256-0671, ext. 5541.

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