TAHLEQUAH — The nearly completed Cherokee Nation Veterans Center is having a soft opening this Labor Day weekend, as the site of this year’s Cherokee National Holiday Veterans Reception.
The $2.8 million center is now wrapping up construction, with exterior stone work and inside tile left to complete, but will be open during the holiday.
An open house is being held from noon to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31. A veterans reception dinner open to all veterans will follow from 4-6 p.m., with greetings from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, a Navy veteran.
“Native Americans serve and defend our country at higher rates than any other ethnicity, and so we made sure that we served them with a center that is more private and comfortable to access benefits or just be amongst their fellow comrades,” Deputy Chief Crittenden said. “Although the Veterans Center may not have all the final touches just yet, we thought it was important to open it for the 61st Holiday Veterans Reception so our veterans will see what it offers and then keep coming back.”
The 7,700-square-foot Veterans Center will house veteran assistance and benefit offices, a kitchen, a community room, a library and a museum. The entrance will feature a “Wall of Honor” of Cherokee veterans.
The Veterans Center is located just east of the W.W. Keeler Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., in Tahlequah. An official ribbon-cutting and grand opening will be held at a later date.
For more information call Jennifer Kirby at 918-453-5150.