Chickasaw Veterans Pay Respects at the Tomb of the Unknowns
Hundreds of visitors stood in still silence at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery on a cool, overcast day as three Chickasaw veterans stepped out to lay a wreath at the tomb. Marked by the words “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God,” the tomb has become a significant place to honor all those who have died in service to their country.
Jerry Tyson, of San Antonio, Joe Orr, of Frederick, Oklahoma and Johnny Swinney, of Ranger, Texas agreed it was a “great honor” to be chosen to pay their respects to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their country.
“I know of nothing that would be any more significant in my life than to participate in the laying of the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns,” Orr said.
Tyson, Orr and Swinney have a combined 44 years of service in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, respectively. The three are among 18 Chickasaw Veterans visiting Washington D.C., as part of a Veterans Day trip sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the trip is one way to honor veterans for their service.
“It is important we remember these men and women who have given of their time and talents to defend our freedom and our way of life,” Anoatubby said. “Veterans Day offers a time to reflect on the sacrifice and commitment of those who have served our nation, but we should always remember there are men and women working every day around the world to secure the way of life we enjoy.”
Chickasaw veterans arrived in Washington Sunday and will return home Thursday, November 12.
While in the nation’s capital, they plan to commemorate Veterans Day by taking part in services at the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial as well as visiting the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Memorial.
Other plans include a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Archives and the U.S. Capitol.
Earlier this year, the Chickasaw Nation announced plans to construct a Veterans Lodge to serve as a gathering place for the newly established Chickasaw Warrior Society.
The lodge, which will be located on the grounds of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma, will provide a place for veterans and active duty military to gather and fellowship as well as a place for veterans to access services.
Native Americans represent the largest percentage per capita of any ethnicity who fought in military campaigns for America throughout history, according to James Floyd of the Veterans Affairs. The Chickasaw Nation has more than 60,000 citizens and more than 1,600 active duty military members.
Chickasaw Veterans on this year’s tour include:
John E. Taylor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. Navy
Orin Johnston, Jr., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. Army
Martin H. Anderson, Hartshorne, Oklahoma, U.S. Navy
William Morris, Cartwright, Oklahoma, U.S. Navy
Joe R. Orr, Frederick, Oklahoma, U.S. Army
John J. Bomboy, Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S. Army
Carl L. Green, Maysville, Oklahoma, U.S. Army
James Jerome Thomas, Gordonville, Texas, U.S. Army
Jerry Tyson, San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Navy
Talbert Johnson, Lithia, Georgia, U.S. Army
John Swinney, Ranger, Texas, U.S. Air Force
Thomas Randolph III, Kingwood, Texas, U.S. Army
Charles Kemp, Joplin, Missouri, U.S. Air Force
Ray Horn, Magnolia, Texas, U.S. Air Force
Harvey Greenwood, Gallup, New Mexico, U.S. Air Force
Clifford Snyder, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S. Army
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