OKLAHOMA CITY – Former members of the 45th Infantry (Thunderbird) Division and current members of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard will be honored Tuesday, April 9, on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives during a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature beginning at 9:45 a.m.
The annual 45th Infantry Division and Oklahoma National Guard Appreciation Day is intended to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by all members of the 45th Infantry Division during World War II and Korea and the men and women who currently serve in the Oklahoma National Guard.
This year’s theme is, “Oklahoma Guard Heroes,” which reflects the great work all Oklahoma National Guardsmen do both in and out of uniform.
This year, four Oklahoma Guardsmen will receive recognition for life saving efforts. From the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Master Sgt. Bryan Whittle will be recognized for stopping a would-be gunman outside a local restaurant and Master Sgt. Scott Crim for saving a choking baby.
Oklahoma Army National Guard couple Sgts. Amber and Caleb J. Heinzig pulled five injured people out of a wrecked van moments before it caught fire. One of the injured succumbed to his wounds, but the other four survived thanks to the Heinzigs’ quick response.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt will attend the joint session and address a large cross-section of current and former members of the Oklahoma National Guard for the first time since taking office.