The United Keetoowah Band honored its tribal veterans Thursday at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Building for its annual veterans’ luncheon.
Jacob Littledave, UKB tribal veterans’ representative, and Tori Proctor, UKB community coordinator, presented orange and black finger-woven belts to each of the UKB Honor Guard members on behalf of the UKB Powwow Committee.
Littledave announced his retirement from the honor guard because of health problems. But, he is continuing to work full time as the tribal veterans’ representative.
He said it has been a great honor carrying the guidon at different functions and parades.
In Chief Wickliffe’s address he said Afghanistan is still a dangerous place for the country’s servicemen and women with bombs continually killing Americans. War is different now with no frontlines. Just walking down the street in the Middle East can invite a bombing.
After his remarks, Chief Wickliffe and Littledave made a special presentation of a plaque to Norman “Hominy” Littledave, tribal community coordinator and UKB Honor Guard commander, for distinguishing himself in his duties to the honor guard, veterans the community and the tribe.
Hominy Littledave thanked the administration for making the veterans’ office and the honor guard possible, so they could represent the tribe wherever they go.
Oklahoma State Senator Earl Garrison was next to address the gathered veterans.
He remembered when he was the superintendent of Fort Gibson schools and the students wanted to raise money for a monument honoring those who served in the previous wars.
On the day the monument was dedicated, the weather was cold, rainy and miserable.
Garrison told the assembly that it was good that the weather was miserable as wars are not always fought on nice, sun-shining days. War is not a pleasant thing, but it is necessary to carry on the American way of life.
After the speeches, the approximately 200 attendees ate a barbecue lunch catered by Fish’s Barbecue. The tribe, also, gave the Keetoowah veterans T-shirts.