Three veterans received the Cherokee Medal of Patriotism at the February 11 Cherokee Nation Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Honored were vets who had served in Iraq, Vietnam and Korea.
Paul Adair, 75, of Stillwell, Oklahoma; Howard Holloway, 82, of Claremore, Oklahoma; and T.J Scott, 25, of Stilwell, each recieved a medal and a plaque from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, acknowledging their service.
"In 1958 they sent me back to the USA. It wasn't like I was in a Third World country. I was in Europe, but I wanted to go back to Stilwell," Adair said, according to a Nation press release. "You hear about people kissing the ground when they get home; well, that was me."
Adair was born August 9, 1937 to Virginia Daugherty and Wilson Adair in the Bell community of Adair County. He was a member of the U.S. Army National Guard from January 1955 until March 1956, when he received an honorable discharge. On the same day, realizing that he did not want to be drafted as an infantryman, Adair enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.
He completed basic training in San Antonio and was placed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, for Airborne Electronic Navigation Equipment Repairman school.
Adair was stationed in Germany and Japan during his service and served in Vietnam. He retired with the rank of Master Sargeant in 1976 after 20 years of service. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the National Defense Service Award, among other medals. He and his wife, Shirley, have five children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Holloway was born December 30, 1930 to Charles and Intha Holloway in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Division for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1951.
After completing basic training at Ford Hood, Texas, Holloway was then sent to Fort Benning, Georgia for Ranger training. A member of the 17th Infantry, he and his group made an amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea. He was injured in the second major battle and was sent to Tokyo Army Hospital to recuperate. Holloway later returned to Korea and joined the 10th Signal Corps stringing wire to the frontlines.
Holloway received an honorable discharge in 1953 and returned to Oklahoma. He earned many medals, most notably the Purple Heart. He is now retired after working 50 years as a public accountant, while also working as a Tulsa Fire Department firefighter for 25 years. He has four children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Holloway lives with wife, Lorna, in Claremore, three miles from his mother's Indian allotment.
"I'm honored to be recognized by the tribe," Holloway said, according to the press release. "I'm glad to see the tribe opening a veterans' center this summer and look forward to coming to meetings."
Scott was born June 14, 1987 to Terry and Charlie Scott in Tahlequah and was raised in Stilwell. A 2006 graduate of Sequoyah High School, Scott enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2008 and completed his basic training in San Antonio. He trained as a medical laboratory tech and was based at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. During his service, Scott served a year in Iraq. Upon his return he was placed in the Air Force Base Honor Guard and performed numerous funeral honors and retirement ceremonies for active duty and retired U.S. Air Force members. In 2011, Scott received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force and returned to Oklahoma. Scott is engaged to Tori Cameron of Okay, Oklahoma, and the couple has a one-year-old girl, Kennedy Price Scott. Scott plans on pursing a career in nursing.
Each month the Cherokee Nation recognizes Cherokee servicemembers for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which all veterans are held by the tribe. To nominate a veteran who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, please call 918-453-5541 or 800-256-0671, ext. 5541.