We note the passing of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo Nation Code Talkers. We all have cause to remember and rejoice that his Native language provided the crucial vocabulary and structure for developing coded messages to American forces in the field during World War II. The Japanese were never able to decipher the code.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, Nez volunteered to serve in the Korean conflict. His family and friends did not know the role the Code Talkers played in securing victory for the Allies in WWII until their mission was declassified in 1968. Nez received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001.
Thank you, Mr. Nez, for your service and sacrifice.