Chickasaws Vow Expanded Benefits to Military Veterans

An artist's rendering of the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge to be constructed on the campus of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma.

An artist’s rendering of the Chickasaw Nation Veterans Lodge to be constructed on the campus of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma.

THACKERVILLE, OKLAHOMA – The Chickasaw Nation has launched a national and global outreach to bring together and assist tribal veterans.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby unveiled the Chickasaw Warrior Society to be comprised of retired and active duty military members with Chickasaw heritage. He also announced the tribe would construct a 13,200 square foot Veterans Lodge for them. He pledged an expansion of tribal benefits to Chickasaw veterans that will “reach out to our veterans across this country.”

The lodge will be located on the grounds of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma, and will provide a place for fellowship and gathering where Chickasaw veterans can enjoy fellowship and “swap a few stories,” Gov. Anoatubby said.

Building the new structure at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada will enable veterans who seek medical services there to have easy access to the lodge.

Gov. Anoatubby told hundreds who gathered for the first Chickasaw Veterans and Chickasaw Warrior Society meeting while the lodge will be a place for “comfort for our warriors and their families,” more importantly it will “be a place for our veterans to gain access and resources that are available – and will be available – from the Chickasaw Nation in the future. It is an honor for the Chickasaw Nation to construct this lodge for Chickasaw Warriors and active duty personnel.”

“The reputation of the Chickasaw warrior is legendary,” Gov. Anoatubby said. Historians have called the Chickasaw Nation “unconquered and unconquerable.”

Ancient Chickasaws were known as a warrior nation, Gov. Anoatubby said. When required, Chickasaw women fought alongside men in battle and “they were fierce. They didn’t take prisoners.”

Small in number, the Chickasaw defended a large swath of their homelands and tribal territory from intruders and enemies, said James R. Floyd, director of the Jack C. Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Not only did Chickasaws virtually own the lower Mississippi River, but history shows the tribe’s frequent forays advanced into Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and even Illinois.

“For this reason, we encourage our Chickasaw Warriors and active duty personnel to join the Chickasaw Warrior Society. A charter, a website and a logo are also in the works,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “Help us to serve you better. We are looking to do something special for Chickasaw veterans. Whatever we do can never repay the debt of gratitude we owe” when compared to the sacrifice of Chickasaw veterans, Gov. Anoatubby concluded. For more information, go to  www.Chickasaw.net/WarriorSociety.

Did You Know

Native Americans represent the largest percent per capita of any ethnicity of soldiers who have fought in military campaigns for America throughout history, according to James Floyd of the Veterans Administration.  The Chickasaw Nation has more than 1,600 active duty military members, has a citizenry of more than 60,000 and is Oklahoma’s seventh largest employer with approximately 13,000 workers. The Chickasaw Nation is the 12th largest Native American tribe in the nation.

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