Participants in the fourth annual Cherokee Warrior Flight. Photo: Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation sends eight veterans to Washington on 4th annual Warrior Flight

The Cherokee Nation has sent eight veterans to Washington, D.C., on its fourth annual Cherokee Warrior Flight.

After a dinner and celebration on Sunday, the veterans, who range in age from 70 to 92, left Oklahoma on Monday. They are visiting war memorials and monuments, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol as part of their trip, which concludes on Wednesday.

“This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of our veterans, and one of the most important ways we can show our gratitude for their service,” Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran, said in a press release. “This year’s veterans represent a variety of service over many decades and many stories, and I feel honored to share this experience with each of them.”

Cherokee Nation on YouTube: Cherokee Nation Warrior Flight Sendoff

Veterans on the flight include Jack Shamblin, 90, who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. His grandson, Joshua Wheeler, is buried at Arlington. Wheeler was killed in Iraq in 2015, Fox 23 News reported.

The full list of participants follows:
World War II
Jack Shamblin, 90, Army Air Forces, of Roland
Wayne Kellehan, 92, Army, of Claremore
Johnnie Crittenden, 92, Army, of Burbank, California

Korean War
John Swimmer, 84, Army, of Vian
Granvill “Buck” Murray, 84, Army, of Claremore
Jim Quetone, 86, Army, of Tahlequah

Vietnam War
Ray Grass, 70, Navy, Air Force, of Locust Grove
Russell Grass, 73, Navy, of Walnut Creek, California

Read More on the Story:
Fourth Cherokee Warrior Flight takes eight veterans to Washington, D.C. (The Tulsa World September 25, 2017)
Cherokee Warrior Flight reunites veteran, fallen soldier (Fox 23 News September 25, 2017)
Eight Veterans Head to Washington on Cherokee Warrior Flight (Public Radio Tulsa September 25, 2017)
Cherokee Veterans Travel To Washington, D.C. (News9 September 24, 2017)