"Coo-wee-scoo-wee, Cherokee Messenger"

= O-si-yo = Hello

Service to the Community, State and Nation
Service to GOD & COUNTRY  has always been an integral part of the Ross Family heritage.  It was instilled in me at an early age, of the military connection of nearly all male members of my ancestry.  Certainly not to exclude my daughter (MSgt "Kelli" Ross Guy, USMC) who has now spent over 19 years on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, including one tour in Iraq.


There have been six consecutive generations of Ross' who have served or are serving in the military service of the United States of America.

In addition to my service (first in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and then in U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era), there were my:

Brothers ~  PFC "Frank" Miles Clay Knight who caught the tail end of WWII (1945-1947) in the U.S. Army. Also, SK1 James O. "Jim" Knight, 9 yrs. 9 months in the U.S.Coast Guard from 1955-1964,

My Father ~  Lt. Robert "Bruce" Ross, Jr. during World War I in the Chateau-Thierry and the Muese-Argonne forest region of France with the AEF (Army) as a platoon leader of Co A, 307th Inf., 77th Inf. Division (New York National Guard).

My Grandfather ~ 1st Sgt Robert Bruce Ross "Uncle Bob" served in the War Between the States (aka Civil War) with the 2nd Indian Home Guard of the Kansas Infantry.

My Great Grandfather ~ Sgt William "Allen" Ross served with Drew's Regiment, Co., H. during the War Between the States.

and My Great-Great Grandfather ~ John Ross who served as an Adjutant in Col. Gideon Morgan's Indian Regiment of Andrew Jackson's Army during the War of 1812.

In addition to those listed above there have been countless uncles and cousins that also served our country in the military over the last 200+ years.  You may have noticed that there is a considerable amount of service rendered prior to the U.S. government ahem 'granting' citizenship to the American Indian on June 2, 1924.  One of my Uncles, U.S. Army Retired Brigadier General Edwin W. Piburn, served during both WWI & WWII, and who is buried nearest to one of only two U.S.A. Presidents interred at Arlington National Cemetery ~ William Howard Taft.

All this gives you a pretty good idea as to whence comes my sense of service to the community, state and nation.

When it comes to being involved in veterans organizations, my Grandfather was a proud member of the Civil War Veterans Assn., My Father was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3707 - Tahlequah, OKlahoma) and Rhodes-Pritchett American Legion Post 50 - Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  He was Post Commander of Tahlequah VFW Post 3707 the day Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7th, 1941.  He also coached the American Legion baseball team to the State Championship a couple of times.

Every organization of Veterans have very good programs that are important to a community.  However a person cannot work them all and do any of them the justice they deserve.  Therefore, one must pick and choose the program or maybe programss that he or she likes and strive to focus on one or two particular projects.  I opted to work the programs of The American Legion and La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (aka ~ The 40 & 8) whose membership is based upon membership in  and service to the American Legion.  One cannot simply join the 40/8 , membership is by invitation only.

I have spent the better part of the last 40+ years attending meetings, workshops, conventions, promenades, cook-outs, picnics and countless social gatherings.  I have spent many hours/days, weeks and miles hustling membership, serving for 14 years as a Senior Counselor at OKlahoma Boys State, Local Chairman of the American Legion Oratorical Contest, worked with both food and blood drives.  Through my work with both the Legion and the 40/8.  I have gone up the ladder with various appointed and elected offices as far as I wanted to go ~ culminating with election to Grand Chef de Gare du OKlahoma (State Commander) of the 40/8 for the 1993-94 membership year.  I served the American Legion as Post Commander of Blackfox-Hartness Post 135, in Tahlequah for six years and beyond post level as District Commander (a couple of times) State Sgt-at-Arms and Executive Committeeman (a couple of times).  And for the past 18 years (15 of which I've been hiding out here in Arizona and) still sitting over in the'Amen Corner.'

By that I mean that I don't attend all meetings any more, but when asked I will answer questions, but only when asked.  In other words I'm practicing what those "OLD MEN"  (45-50yo) {Yeah, Right!} preached when I joined the Legion 45+ years ago.  They said, "We need you young guys with some young blood and ideas to come in and help us.  We're tired and need to take a break."  Well, I joined up just like a lot of other Vietnam Vets, and got actively involved, and yeah, ya got it.   They (the "Ole Men") forgot to take that break, and kept their thumb on us for the next twenty plus years.

Well, I had decided, very early on, that when I had done what I wanted to do in the American Legion and 40&8, I'd move over to the 'Amen Corner'  Well, that's where you'll find me these days... One thing I do need to make very clear.  Even though I'm not attending meetings or holding offices, serving on committees, (yuck), I've never turned down a request to help or to answer questions.  I just, very simply, quit volunteering.

PLEASE NOTE:  There has been some talk of holding a Ross Family reunion in 2013.  If you are reading this and know any descendants of Chief John Ross, please pass the word along, and have them get in touch with me for information as it develops.  I will post details as they come in.  Plans are only in the talking stage at this time, and nothing specific is set.  Without a lot of effort by a lot of people, we may have to hold off until 2014, but hopefully it can be held in conjunction with Cherokee Holiday on Labor Day weekend..  If anyone is interested in helping with setting this up, please let me know..(contact info. below)


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Last update:  November 3, 2012