Vol. LII No. 9
September 2017

Chickasaw veterans honored at conference

THACKERVILLE, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge will soon be ready to welcome warriors.

Gov. Bill Anoatubby announced the lodge’s progress during the Third Annual Chickasaw Veterans Conference June 14 at Winstar Convention Center. More than 325 Chickasaw veterans attended the event.

The 15,000 square-foot lodge dedicated to warriors and their families is nearing completion on the Ada South Campus near the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Okla.

“Our military servicemen and women are warriors,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “You have been our constant protectors. Some of you stormed the beaches at Normandy. You sweated below the decks of aircraft carriers in Korea. You endured the physical and emotional warfare of Vietnam. You have powered through the heat and uncertainty of tour after tour in the Middle East. What other word can be used to describe you except ‘hero.’”

The lodge was pointedly located near the Medical Center as a matter of convenience for veterans requiring medical attention.

The lodge will offer veterans a place for fellowship, games, or to merely relax. Also, tribal experts will search programs to assist warriors – programs and additional benefits for which they are entitled but may not be aware.

“We want to continue to work with you and improve the services that we have available,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “We now have a department whose responsibility it is to make connections for you and to help you make connections.”

Chickasaw Nation Veterans Services will be housed at the lodge once it is completed.

“In the future, we will see programs that are tribally funded,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “These programs are intended to assist you as well. So we’re going to look for ways improve the access you have to the benefits you have earned.”

The Chickasaw Warrior Society will have its offices in the lodge. The group was created to honor all Chickasaws who have served – and are serving – in the military.

Veterans who are members have received jackets identifying them as part of the Chickasaw Warrior Society.

Veterans unable to attend the conference will also receive the items designed specifically for society members.

A Pendleton blanket vest in vibrant Native American colors is available to male veterans.

Women veterans received a Pendleton blanket shawl.

Veterans were given a front vehicle license plate bearing the society logo.

Gov. Anoatubby announced special warrior society parking spaces at tribal facilities would be available in the near future.

Additionally, veterans were issued a Chickasaw Warrior Society “military challenge coin.”

A challenge coin bears an organization’s logo and is carried by its members. Traditionally, they are shown to prove membership in an organization if their credentials are “challenged.”

“You are the reason the Chickasaw Nation continues to grow programs and services that will hopefully enhance your quality of life, Gov. Anoatubby said.

“We want to do all we can for you.”