Roll to Wreaths Riders 4 Vets to host 5th Annual Ruben Rivers Honor Ride

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
United States Army Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers.

Roll to Wreaths Riders 4 Vets will host the fifth annual Ruben Rivers Medal of Honor Ride with a ride at 9 a.m. and a ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the American Legion in Tecumseh.

According to Rowdy Butler, president and founder of Roll to Wreaths Riders 4 Vets, this event is to honor Ruben Rivers, a United States Army Staff Sergeant who was killed in action while serving as a tank company platoon sergeant during World War II.

"In 1997, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration for valor, for his actions November 16 to 19, in 1944, near Bourgaltroff, France," Butler said.

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While this event is to honor Rivers and his service, Butler said it is also to honor all veterans who've received the Medal of Honor.

Butler said Rivers was born in Tecumseh and died Nov. 19, 1944 near Gueblin, German-occupied France.

Butler said along with the Medal of Honor, Rivers was awarded the Silver Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

"Rivers (who was half-Cherokee) and six other Black Americans who served in World War II, were awarded the Medal of Honor on January 12, 1997," Butler said. "The Medal of Honor was posthumously presented to Rivers by President Bill Clinton on January 13, 1997 during a Medals of Honor ceremony for the seven recipients at the White House in Washington, D.C."

He explained the seven recipients are the first and only Black Americans to be awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II.

Butler said retired Navy Captain John Keilty will speak at the event.

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In addition, Commander Rex Hailey, Vice Commander Phillip Coon and Secretary Alex Fish from the Seminole Nation Honor Guard will carry their colors at the event.

Following the Seminole Nation Honor Guard, Butler said the Del City High School Navy Junior ROTC will also carry colors at the event. The Color Guard will be Gordon Cordero, Tyler Krause, Alexis Valez and Hunter Monroe from Del City High School Navy Junior ROTC.

For those who wish to participate in the ride and attend the event, Butler said it's $30 per rider and $10 per co-rider and $5 for hamburgers at the American Legion following the ride.

There will be 100 of the 2021 Medal of Honor challenge coins available at the event and all riders will receive one until they are gone.

Check back for updates.