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Austin Amos Harjo(1929 - 2014)

Austin Amos Harjo

Austin Amos Harjo passed away May 24, 2014 at Gateway Hospital, Clarksville, TN. He was 84 years old.

Austin was born November 15, 1929 in Henryetta, OK to David and Hinney (Simmer) Harjo. He was a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. He attended Yardeka Indian Day School in Yardeka, OK. He graduated from Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS. At age 14, he was saved and baptized by Rev. John Jacob on Feb. 21, 1944.

Mr. Harjo joined the U.S. Army in 1948. He was first stationed at Fort Bragg, NC and assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1951, he moved to Fort Campbell, KY and joined the 101st Airborne Division as a jump school instructor.

1st SGT (Ret.) Harjo's military deployments included two tours in the Korean War and two tours in the Vietnam War. During his service in the Vietnam War, 1st SGT (Ret.) Harjo was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He distinguished himself in the vicinity of Phuoc Vinh, Republic of Vietnam, on March 18-19th, 1968.

1st SGT (Ret.) Harjo was awarded three Bronze Star Medals, for heroic and meritorious service while serving in the U. S. Army. He was also awarded the Purple Heart.

His other awards include: two Meritorious Service Medals, an Air Medal with distinguished actions in combat, three Army Commendations, Army Good Conduct Medal 7th award, two National Defense Service Medals, two Korean Service Medals, two Vietnam Service Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Korea Service Medal, Army Master Combat Jump Wings, Vietnamese Airborne Jump Wings, two Combat Infantry Badges, and the Expert Shooting Medal-Rifle.

Awards earned with his unit include: two Army Presidential Unit Citations, two Army Valorous Unit Awards, two Army Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, two Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citations, and the Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation with Bronze Palm Device. After 21 ½ years of active military service, he retired at Fort Campbell, KY in 1970.

1st SGT (Ret.) Harjo's greatest honor from his military experience was his association with his Rakkasan brothers of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. He continued his service to his country by working with the Veteran's Administration after his retirement from the military.

He was preceded in death by his parents; the mother of his children, Mary Harjo; one brother, Rudy Johnson; his sister, Christine Tory and his grandson, Keith Austin Caudill.

He is survived by his two brothers, Amon (Sylvia) Harjo and Josh Harjo; two sons and two daughters, Billy (Cindy) Harjo, Bobbie (Steve) Caudill, Johnny Harjo, and Teresa (Jamie) Burger; eight grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Honorary Pallbearers are his Rakkasan brothers of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.

In lieu of flowers, to honor 1st SGT (Ret.) Austin Harjo, please make donations to Wounded Warrior Project or the Disabled American Veterans.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, 2014 and from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Monday, June 2, 2014 at McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home. The service is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Monday, June 2, 2014 at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West with full military honors.

Online condolences may be made at NaveFuneralHomes.com

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Funeral Home

McReynolds-Nave-Larson Funeral Home
1209 Madison Street Clarksville, TN 37040
(931) 647-3371

Published in The Leaf Chronicle from May 30 to June 1, 2014
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