MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 30, 2006

VA Medical Center receives honored name

Re-dedication ceremony honors Jack C. Montgomery



Family, friends, co-workers and dignitaries braved cold weather Thursday to attend the re-dedication of the Muskogee’s VA Medical Center as the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.

The ceremony was held at the Muskogee Civic Center arena.

Montgomery, who died in 2002 at age 84, was one of only five Native Americans to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, described how Montgomery was determined to help other veterans long after retirement.

“After he went to work at the VBA (Veterans Benefit Administration), he worked 750 hours taking those vets from the parking lot to the facility (VA Medical Center).”

Montgomery, part Cherokee, was born July 23, 1917, near Long in Sequoyah County. He attended the Chilocco Indian School and graduated high school at Carnegie in 1936.

He attended Bacone College, then furthered his education at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., where he earned a degree in physical education in 1940.

He received a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant shortly before sailing for Salerno, Italy.

Montgomery, who was 25 when he served as lieutenant, commanded an Army platoon fortified against the Germans at a beach near Anzio, south of Rome. His medal of honor was a result of an event on Feb. 22, 1944. Montgomery single-handedly attacked three enemy positions that endangered platoons under his command. His action resulted in 11 enemy deaths and the capture of 32 prisoners.

After five years of service, Montgomery worked as a contact representative for the Veterans Administration. When the Korean War began in 1950, he served as an instructor in Fort Benning, Ga. He was discharged in 1953 and returned to work at the Veterans Administration (now Veterans Affairs). He retired in 1972.

Near the end of the re-dedication ceremony, Montgomery’s widow, Joyce Montgomery asked to speak. Standing in front of the stage while Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith held the microphone for her, Joyce impressed the crowd with her impromptu remarks.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks