Choctaw woman honored for her service during the Korean War

TUSKLAHOMA, Okla. — The late Bertha Brock was born in Bennington, Okla. and lived in Tulsa for 35 years until her death in 2008.

Brock attended Southeastern University in Durant. She worked for the Tulsa Zoo as a Zookeeper supervisor for 17 years.

“She started as a aviator curator of the Zoo, she also became a supervisor of the Tulsa Zoo and later on it was her idea for Children’s Zoo that we know today,” said Brock’s granddaughter Latisha Looney.

Brock was a lifelong wildlife conservationist who had a passion for Nature Conservancy and she was a member of the VFW.

“She loved being [a] veteran,” said Erin Brock, another granddaughter.

One of her most prestigious honors was when she worked for the U.S. Naval Ammunition Base as a payroll accountant in the 1960s.

She served as a Choctaw marine in the Korean War. She joined the U.S. Marines at just 18 years old.

Her family accepted a medal in her honor in Tushklahoma, Okla. Friday.

“It’s very special, she was the only woman who was given the Korea Ambassador medal, and it’s just really special that they would pick our Native American veterans to be awarded this honor,” Erin Brock said.

The Korean Peace medal requires veterans who served in the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 1953. Awards are also given out posthumously.

The award itself is a ribbon consisting of five red and blue stripes.

“To have her as a role model for being one of the very few women in the Korean War, as a Native American, is a huge deal, and we are very proud,” Looney said.

The ambassador of peace medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean Government to U.S. service men and women that served during the Korean War.