The Cherokee Nation is sending 11 of its war veterans to Washington, D.C. as part of the tribe's Warrior Flight.
In all, seven World War II vets and three Korean War vets will take to the skies in Monday morning to see the history they experienced enshrined in the nation's capital. With them, they take those memories and the pride of being a Cherokee Warrior.
It's the trip of a lifetime for these veterans that have one thing in common.
“I am an Indian,” said WWII Navy Veteran Charles Scott.
Their stories are unlike any other.
“We in the submarine service never expected to come back home,” said Scott. “So I finished the war there aboard the Submarine Chad.”
“I fought that war with a needle,” said WWII Medic Veteran Monroe Hembree. “We dressed them up, cleaned them up, gave them a bath and gave them shots and send them on back there.”
Generations later, they'll be able to see the pride their country has in them firsthand. The men were handpicked for the flight. It was the second one organized by the Cherokee Nation so far.
“It's not enough. They gave more than we did but this is just a small tribute,” said Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden. “I think this is a great thing that we could do this.”
Each of the 11 veterans was given a vest commemorating their service and the trip where they'll see the memorials for their comrades. Scott says only one word describes it.
“Emotional,” he said. “I thank the fellas that didn't come back and they made it possible for me to be here.”
They'll be there in person thanks to the nation they call home.
“I appreciate them so much. I highly recommend them to keep doing what they're doing,” said Hembree.
The warrior flight will take off at 9:30 a.m. Monday from the Tulsa International Airport. They'll spend two days touring the nation's capital and representing their tribe.
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