Tomlinson is Veteran of the Month

Jerry Tomlinson

Jerry Tomlinson was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his father was stationed there serving our country. The family moved to Durant, Okla., when he was very young. He attended Durant schools through freshman year, then moved with his family to Midland, Texas, where he was in the first graduating class of Robert E. Lee High School.

He joined the Marine Corps shortly after his brother joined, influenced by family traditions of military service and a desire to live closer to his future wife in California. He completed MCRD Boot Camp in San Diego followed by combat and recruit training at Camp Pendleton, where he served as a Combat Engineer, setting up operational areas for troops, and worked as a communication radio man, performing headquarters and supply duties.

Tomlinson was stationed at Coronado Island, Calif., a Naval amphibious base, providing combat engineering services in the Pacific Islands and Combat Field Radio and Communication on east and west coasts. His active duty spanned from 1964-65, followed by active reserves until he left the Marines in August 1970 as a Corporal (E4). Although staged to deploy to Vietnam, he was not deployed.

Upon returning home from service, he lived in Odessa, Texas for a short time before moving back to Durant in 1977, where he started a business. He was elected to the Durant School Board in 1984, 1994, and 1998. He was elected to the City Council and in 2001 became Mayor, serving for the next 16 years. He served the city for 23 years.

Tomlinson and his wife, Linda, have been married for almost 59 years and have four children: Michelle, Kim, Tracey, and Tyler. They have 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Tomlinson’s family military background traces back to the Civil War. He is a grandson of an original Missis- sippi Choctaw enrollee and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

The Choctaw Nation holds our veterans in the highest esteem and appreciates their sacrifices and contributions to preserve our freedoms and the way of life we hold dear.