The Cherokee Nation Veterans Color Guard has reorganized as a non-profit organization to continue honoring veterans and presenting the national colors during tribal events and ceremonies.
The guard has operated on a separate, non-governmental not-for-profit basis at the tribe since 1996. It relies on volunteer military veterans to present colors at official Cherokee Nation events and serve at veteran funerals across the Cherokee Nation Reservation, which includes parts of Muskogee.
In early 2021, Cherokee citizen and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven Morales began working with the Cherokee Nation’s Veterans Affairs department and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner to establish itself as a 501 (c)(19), giving a special tax-exempt status as a veteran’s organization and to operate more efficiently and effectively raise funds to sustain itself. The organization is in the final stages of achieving 501(c)(19) status.
Hoskin’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget, approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation, included $10,000 for the Color Guard.
Morales said the guard appreciates the help of Cherokee Nation and feels the organization is now on a path of sustainability.
The guard can be reached on its Facebook page or contact Commander Morales at 702-443-0722, or the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center at 918-772-4166. Donations can also be mailed to 156 Reasor St., PMB #101, Tahlequah OK 74464.