Jefferson Keel is well known for his service to Indian country and the United States and recently he was recognized by the Military Memorial Museum Hall of Honor for it.
Keel, Lieutenant Governor of the Chickasaw Nation and President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was inducted into the hall of honor in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Keel, a retired Army Ranger and artillery officer, began his military service in 1963 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. In 1989, 22 years, 1 month and 20 days later he walked away as a Captain with the United States Army; received numerous awards and decorations, including two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with “V” for valor, and the Army Commendation Medal with valor.
“The professional and outstanding accomplishments of Captain Jefferson E. Keel reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Army, the Chickasaw Nation, the State of Oklahoma and the Nation,” according to the Museum.
Keel served as a Platoon Sergeant and Platoon Leader; did two extended tours of duty in the 1st Cavalry Division and the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam according to a press release.
Keel recently laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of the more than 100,000 American Indian veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. There are more than 22,000 serving in active duty currently.