As Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr. wrote in his column in the November edition of Biskinik, “The Veterans Day ceremony is approaching. It is another of my favorite events. The veterans cannot receive enough of our gratitude for their selfless service to God and country. They and their families have sacrificed for our freedom.”
Many share this same feeling and will be in attendance at the Choctaw Veterans Day Ceremony starting at 10 a.m. Friday, November 11 at Tvshka Homma. The Assistant Chief will open the event with a Welcome Address. The Chaplain for the Choctaw Tribal Council Joe Coley will follow with the Invocation. The always-inspiring Choctaw Nation Color Guard will post the colors, and Miss Choctaw Nation Karen Ann Crosby will sing the National Anthem. Junior Miss Choctaw Nation Savannah Herndon and Little Miss Choctaw Nation Isabella Muncy will join her for a presentation of The Lord’s Prayer in sign language.
Expect patriotic sounds to ring out across the valley when the Talihina High School Band takes front-and-center with a rousing musical tribute.
Chief Gary Batton, who will speak at the gathering, said, “Every year I look out at the audience and see men and women of all ages who have served this country. They are an inspiration to me. We owe them our gratitude and our respect for everything they have done for us.”
Also addressing the audience will be Tribal Council Speaker Delton Cox and the guest speaker, retired 1st Sgt. Chris Dill.
Scott-Wesley will present this year’s Heart of the Warrior Scholarship, and the ceremony will be closed out by a 21 Gun Salute and Taps conducted by the Choctaw Color Guard, and the Benediction by Councilman Coley.
Also, Choctaw veterans in attendance will get to participate in a special drawing.
The purpose of the annual event, held at the historic Capitol Grounds of the Choctaw Nation, is to honor those Choctaw tribal members who have served in uniform. Free and open to the public, the Choctaw Veterans Day Ceremony is always one of the most well-attended activities sponsored by the Choctaw Nation each year. In attendance will be Choctaw veterans from all across Oklahoma and other states, and veterans from World War II to the present with their families. Choctaws who have served in any branch of military service are encouraged to attend. For any additional information, contact the Choctaw Veterans Advocacy Department, 800-522-6170.