Woodrow Ross, 82, of Kenwood; Buddy Ross, 48, of Jay; Joe Grayson, 72, of Stilwell; and Isaac Christie, 78, of Welling, each received a medal and plaque from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service to the country. The awards were presented Dec. 10 at the Cherokee Nation's December Tribal Council meeting.
Woodrow Ross was born Aug. 17, 1930, to Joseph and Takey Wickliffe Ross, in Kenwood. In 1952, Ross was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif. Ross served in the 24th Division 34th Infantry Regiment in Japan and Korea.
“I want to thank the Cherokee Nation for honoring my service,” Ross said. “I was happy to serve my country, so thank you for the appreciation of our service.”
In 1953, Ross received an honorable discharge and returned to Oklahoma. Ross currently lives in Kenwood with his wife, Joan. The couple has four children and 10 grandchildren.
Buddy Ross, 48, of Jay.
Buddy Ross was born Apr. 6, 1964, to Forman and the late Emma Ross, of Pryor. He is the nephew of Woodrow Ross. In 1984, Ross enlisted in the U.S. Army and completed basic training at Ft. Benning, Ga. He served overseas tours with the 197th Infantry Brigade in Germany and the 25th Infantry Division in South Korea. Ross received an honorable discharge in 1987 and returned to Oklahoma. He currently lives in Jay. He has three children and two grandchildren. Ross is a second generation U.S. Army veteran. His father, Forman Ross, served in the U.S. Army for 25 years.
Joe Grayson, 72, of Stilwell.
Joe Grayson was born Feb. 2, 1950, to the late John and Pauline Grayson, of Stilwell. In 1970, Grayson enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Grayson also trained as a fire protection specialist at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. After training, Grayson served a 13-month tour in South Korea. He completed the remainder of his military service at Little Rock Air Force Base and received an honorable discharge in 1974. Grayson currently lives in Stilwell and works in the community as a certified teacher of the Cherokee language and as a minister.
Isaac Christie, 78, of Welling.
Isaac Christie was born Oct. 27, 1934, to Dan and Sally Pigeon Christie, of Welling. In 1954, Christie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After completion of basic training, Christie was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyo., for specialty training. Christie served overseas tours in Tripoli, Libya and North Africa. In 1957, Christie received an honorable discharge from the Air Force and returned home. Christie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in education and a master’s degree in elementary education. He retired from Indian Health Service in 1997 and lives in Welling with his wife, Bobbie. The couple has two children and one grandchild.
Each month the Cherokee Nation recognizes its 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 Cherokee Nation veteran, please call 918-453-5541 or 800-256-0671, ext. 5541.