CAS alumnus Chappabitty Jr. inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame
Thursday, November 2, 2023
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On Oct. 28, Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Dr. Edwin Chappabitty Jr. (1941-2021) was posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame.
Chappabitty was a field artillery officer during the Vietnam War, earning the rank of captain in the U.S. Army. It was during his time overseas that he decided to pursue medicine in order to serve others, especially tribal members.
“My brother was a ‘Comanche Warrior’ whose life from birth to his passing in 2021 stood as a solid example of carrying forward his roots to protect the values of bravery, honor and loyalty while protecting our people and our Comanche way of life,” said Dennis Chappabitty, Edwin’s brother and an OSU alumnus himself.
Edwin Chappabitty was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and graduated from OSU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. He was commissioned into the Reserve Officers Training Course and served in the Vietnam War from 1969-70. He received three awards with a “V” device for heroism, two Bronze Stars and an Army Commendation medal.
After leaving the Army in 1972, Chappabitty earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed an internship and residency at the University of New Mexico Hospital Family Practice. In 1983, he was commissioned into the U.S. Public Health Service and served as an Indian Health Service physician at the Lawton Indian Hospital for 25 years. In 2008, Chappabitty retired from IHS and started a new job as the very first medical director for the Comanche Nation in Lawton.
“Ed was truly dedicated to doing the best he could with his education experiences at Oklahoma State University,” Dennis said. “As his younger brother, I can say that he never shied away from taking on challenges. … His experiences led me to follow his exemplary trail into the ROTC to my own graduation in 1972 when I received my own commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.”
In 1993, Edwin appeared in the award-winning KFOR TV documentary, "Strangers in Their Own Land." Chappabitty received the "Physician of the Year" honor from the Association of American Indian Physicians in 1996, and the Journal of Minority Medical Students presented him with the Hero Award in 1997.
Chappabitty received the OSU Distinguished American Indian Alumni Society Award in 2002 and in 2015 he was inducted into the OSU College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Story By: Allie Putman, CAS graduate assistant | firstname.lastname@example.org