The last Navajo 'code talker' from famed USMC unit

The "greatest generation" won the Second World War and on returning home built America into a super power -- a beacon of freedom. Now those Americans are in their 80s and 90s. One of them is former Navajo "code talker" Chester Nez -- the subject of a recent article in The Albuquerque Journal, "The Last Code Talker." Now 90 years old, Nez is "the last living member of the U.S. Marine Corps 382nd Platoon, comprised of 29 Navajos who developed a secret code the Japanese were never able to decipher," noted the Journal. Some 430 bilingual Navajo Americans (fluent in English and their native Navajo) played crucial roles in sending coded tactical messages in their Navajo language during the horrific island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific. Among the former code talkers' dwindling ranks, there are no cynical post-modernists -- even though Nez, as the Journal explained, had a traditional Navajo boyhood -- attending Indian boarding schools where "the children were forced to speak English...(Read Full Post)