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Gerty Veteran

Every Veteran's Day - aka Armistice Day - I like to post about a Great War (WWI) veteran because these men hoped that this was the "war to end all wars." Sigh.

John Benjamin Flinchum was born at or near Gerty (Hughes County, Oklahoma) in 1897, when the area was still Indian Territory. He was a Choctaw from his mother's side and received an allotment when his mother applied for 40 acres in 1907.

In 1918, Flinchum was drafted into the Great War. He was mustered into the 387th Infantry, 97th Division in New Mexico, where he served alongside recruits from Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Because most of the recruits hailed from ocean-side states, the 387th Infantry adopted Neptune's Trident as their insignia. Apparently, the recruits from land-lubbing states like Oklahoma came after the the design was chosen!

Flinchum didn't serve for very long; his active duty stretched from November to December of 1918. He returned to Oklahoma, married, had a family, and lived in Oklahoma City. Flinchum died in 1936 and is buried at the cemetery in Gerty. I have no idea why the metal rod next to his grave, which helps to protect the stone from lawn mowers, is painted like a match stick.

Happy Veteran's Day, Sergeant Flinchum!

John Flinchum's grave in Gerty, Oklahoma.

And his draft card for WWI.

And his Choctaw enrollment card.

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