I was privileged to write [amazon_link id=”0803224567″ target=”_blank” ]Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers[/amazon_link], a book about a select group of Navajo recruited for special duty in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. On this Veteran’s Day, 2012, I want to honor them and their code – a National Security asset that remained classified decades after World War II ended.
The first 29 Navajo Code Talkers were young men with little education. For some, it was their first time off the reservation. They were chosen because they each met some unique requirements needed to protect American National Security – they spoke a little known and very difficult native language, they were fluent in English, and they were loyal Americans ready to defend their country.
The day they graduated boot camp, they boarded a bus to a secure location where they received their assignment — Develop a battlefield code based on the Navajo language that the Japanese cannot break. They didn’t know where to begin this overwhelming task. The Japanese were breaking the tactical codes produced by experienced and well-educated military minds as fast as the codes became operational. Still, these unique young Navajos were honored to be chosen for this special assignment and they were determined to carry it out. Within a short time, they impressed their superior officers with their amazing success.
The Code Talkers and their code were operational by the time the Marines landed on Guadalcanal. They were fast. They were accurate. And, they made a contribution to the war effort in the Pacific. They returned home with orders to keep the code secret. And ,they did until the Navajo Code was declassified in 1969. Since then, they have received honor and recognition for their contribution to victory in the Pacific from Presidents, Congress, and the American people.
Today, Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 is still making history. http://bit.ly/RJtRcQ
I wrote Unsung Heroes to honor them and offer my salute for their determination, skill, and courage. However, they are only a few among many men and women who have gallantly fought to protect America.This weekend we honor all Amereica’s veterans for their contribution to the security of our great nation.
[amazon_image id=”0803224567″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers[/amazon_image]
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