The Cherokee Nation announced the naming of the U.S. Navy’s newest rescue ship the “Cherokee Nation” to honor the service and contributions the Cherokee people have made to the Navy and Marine Corps.

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer made the announcement about the newest $64.8 million contract award for the ship, to be named the Cherokee Nation.

The ship, which will be built in 2021, will serve as an open ocean towing vessel and will also support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions.

But it’s not the first time the Cherokee Nation has been recognized with the naming of a ship.

According to the U.S. Navy, this is the fifth U.S. ship to be named in honor of the Cherokee people, beginning with a ship during the Civil War. The most recent ship was the World War II-era tug, the USS Cherokee.

The Cherokee Nation estimates there are more than 4,000 Cherokee veterans. Native Americans, including Cherokees, are thought to have more citizens serving per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

So, it’s appropriate that the Cherokee Nation is honored in this way, and we couldn’t be more proud of the Cherokee veterans who have served our country.

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