USET: An honoring for Eastern Cherokee veteran Jerry Wolfe

"Seldom does someone get a front row seat to giant historical events that changed the lives of people around the world. Celebrated and award winning Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian elder and World War II veteran Jeremiah “Jerry” Wolfe has been on the front row of three of these historic events. During a Monday night reception at the United South and Eastern Tribes, Incorporated’s (USET) Impact Week in Washington, DC, Jerry was honored for his service as a World War Two Veteran, an award winning cultural preservationist, story teller, and Cherokee Elder. “There are so many war heroes and accomplished members of our USET Tribal Nations, we need to honor them so we will learn and live by the examples they set in their lives. Jerry Wolfe is just one of many. USET is proud to honor Mr. Wolfe and his Tribe the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” USET President Brian Patterson told the Impact Week attendees at Monday night’s reception.

Jerry Wolfe enlisted in the Navy in July 1943, when he was a sophomore at the Cherokee Boarding School. He traveled to Chicago to complete basic training before he was sent to southern England. “We were sent to Chicago to train, then to Virginia, and on to England. We didn’t know what we were doing in training. Someone finally told us that we were training for the big invasion,” Wolfe said in a radio interview in 2003. That invasion was the eventual June 6th D-Day Invasion of Omaha Beach, France in 1944. Later he would return home with rank as a 2nd Class Petty Officer/Communicator in charge of 13 enlisted white men. He would take these men through New York City on Victory in Europe or V-E Day. After more training and transfers, Wolfe was on a ship going to Iwo Jima or the Pacific. President Truman dropped the bomb before Wolfe could make the final ordered destination and World War II ended. Wolfe would travel on to Pearl Harbor where he says he got to witness the official declaration of peace signing on the Missouri by the Japanese. That day was known to the world as Victory over Japan or V-J Day. "

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USET Honors Cherokee Elder and World War II Veteran Jerry Wolfe (United South and Eastern Tribes 2/4)

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