United South and Eastern Tribes, Incorporated’s (USET) honored two veterans of U.S. armed forces, who are citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. USET presented plaques and blankets show appreciation of their service to Sam Lambert and Ernest D. Panther during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Semi-Annual Meeting in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Sam Lambert is a Vietnam veteran, who served three west pacific tours and two Vietnam tours of duty while serving in the United State Navy from 1966 through 1972. Lambert earned the rank off Boatswains Mate 3rd Class and served on the board from Landing Craft Carrier LKA USS Union.
Ernest Panther is a retired staff sergeant from the United States Air Force, who enlisted in 1955 and was assigned to the 3555 Instillation Group at Perrin Air Force Base in Texas and retired in 1975 with more than 21 years of service. In addition to his service, which took him to Japan and various points in the United States, Panther was also on special detail as participant in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
“You are not just veterans of the United States Armed forces. You are valued warriors who have protected our Tribal nations’ sovereignty and are honored members of Indian Country. The plaques and blankets are only small tokens of the tireless work and service you have given to Indian Country by promoting veteran affairs,” USET President Brian Patterson said to Lambert and Panther.