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Cherokee Nation Honors Veterans

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Three veterans, two of which are brothers, were honored by the Cherokee Nation during it’s tribal council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The honorees were John L. Parks, Navy, Darrell Dean Parks, Army and Carl E. Guthrie, Army.

John was born August 29, 1928 and Darrell on November 30, 1929 in Juanita, Nebraska. John graduated from College High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma then enlisted, while Darrell graduated from Dewey High School in Dewey, Oklahoma and was drafted on March 15, 1952.

John served in Guam before being discharged, he returned to Bartlesville to work with his father and brother in the concrete business. He is retired and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Hominy, Oklahoma.

Darrell served on the front lines of Korea before a cease fire agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.

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“It was cold and miserable, and every place you went, you went through trenches, and we stayed in bunkers,” said Darrell Parks. “I was on a .50-caliber water cooled machine gun in the daytime and a .30-caliber air cooled at night when we were going on patrols and stuff.”

Darrell was relieved of his duty on December 23, 1953 and honorably discharged in 1958. He has been married to his wife, Priscilla, since 1950 and lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He has two children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Guthrie was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on February 4, 1939 and graduated from Stilwell High School before going to Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas. Guthrie, received his degree as a medical technologist from the Gradwohl School of Medical Technology in St. Louis before enlisting in the army in 1962. He was assigned to the United States Army Medical Research Lab at Fort Knox, Kentucky where he tested the hearing of human subjects exposed to loud noises typical of military settings, before being sent to California for combat enemy detection device testing.

“It was a directional microphone,” said Guthrie. “You could just drop it out of an airplane, and it would transmit whatever sounds went by, if troops went by. You could actually listen to five miles away. This is during the Vietnam War.”

An acoustic reflex device designed to reduce hearing loss due to high noise level environments was contributed to Guthrie and it’s still in use today. Guthrie lives in Hungry Mountain, Oklahoma and enjoys spending time with his family and farming.