A lifelong resident of Cherokee County, Earl Presley was one of seven children of Don C. Presley and Geneva Wright Presley of the Briggs Community. He graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1965, and in September of 1966, at the age of nineteen, Earl was drafted by the U. S. Army to serve in the Vietnam War. Following his basic training in Ft. Hood, Texas, Earl was deployed to Phu Loi, Vietnam. He served his entire two years in Vietnam as an armored personnel carrier driver with the 2nd Battalion 13th Armor 1st Infantry Division-better known as the “Big Red One.” The majority of his tour was spent in active combat. Earl was honorably discharged from the Army in September of 1968. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Marksman in Rifle, and the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. Upon his return to Tahlequah, he embarked on a 30 plus year career in floor covering. Though he was no longer at war he never stopped fighting for his loved ones. Society deems veterans as heroes for their service, but he was a hero to everyone in his life, especially his family. In June of 2019, at the age of 72, Earl got his call to heaven. He cared profoundly about his family, especially his kids and grandkids. He was an honorable, caring, compassionate man with tremendous integrity, and he is missed deeply.
Tahlequah Proudly honors Earl Presley who served as a SP-4 in the United States Army.