Simmons recognized as veteran of the week

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tony Simmons of Big Cedar was honored as Veteran of the Week in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on May 2 by Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener.

Simmons served as a sergeant in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

“Not only is Tony Simmons a distinguished veteran, but he is a really good friend of mine from my House district,” West said. “It was an honor and a pleasure to have such a fine person and a fine veteran to introduce in the House. I hold him in the highest esteem and appreciate his sacrifices and his contribution to preserving the freedom and the way of life we hold so dear.”

Simmons was presented with a citation on the House floor and a flag flown over the Oklahoma Capitol in his honor.

The citation noted that Simmons served with honor in Vietnam, showing great courage in the face of adversity, bringing honor to his family, his state and his nation. He served a total of 11 months and 28 days in South Vietnam during the most intense periods of battle of the lengthy and bloody conflict, and voluntarily extended his service by two months.

After surviving many perilous missions, Sgt. Simmons was wounded in a mortar attack at Bồng Sơn, Bình Định Province, Vietnam. He removed shrapnel from his hand and back himself in order that he might continue to serve faithfully without complaint. Sgt. Simmons was deservingly awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Parachute Badge.

Sgt. Simmons also was honored alongside other veterans May 2 during a joint session of the House and Senate convened to observe Veterans Awareness Day. The Oklahoma Veterans Council led in prayer to honor and pay respects to those who have served the nation and those who died in such service. Several awards were given to members who support veterans or who have served in the U.S. armed forces, and many others were recognized.

Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.

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