By Chester Nez
He's the single unique international conflict II Navajo code talker nonetheless alive—and this is often his tale . . .
His identify wasn’t Chestesr Nez. That used to be the English identify he used to be assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding tuition at castle Defiance, he used to be punished for talking his local language, because the academics sought to rid him of his tradition and traditions. yet discrimination didn’t cease Chester from answering the decision to guard his nation after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have consistently been warriors, and his upbringing on a brand new Mexico reservation gave him the strength—both actual and mental—to excel as a marine.
in the course of global conflict II, the japanese had controlled to crack each code the USA used. but if the Marines grew to become to its Navajo recruits to increase and enforce a mystery army language, they created the one unbroken code in sleek warfare—and helped guarantee victory for the us over Japan within the South Pacific.
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Extra resources for Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII
Despite the peril we faced, the officer then tried to put us at ease, tried to help us understand what lay ahead on Guadalcanal. He spoke like a father talking to his son. “It’s okay to be scared,” he told us. “It would be foolish not to be scared. ” He hesitated again. ” We all nodded. I can do this, I thought. I pinched some corn pollen from my medicine bag, touched my tongue, my head, and gestured to the east, south, west, and north, then tucked the bag back into the pants pocket of my fatigues.
I laughed and resisted the urge to switch from English to Navajo. “That place in San Diego. ” I glanced around at the other code talkers. ” English came easily now, ever since boarding school when we were kids. My fellow code talkers and I knew the white people’s words, but among ourselves we generally spoke in Navajo. Because of our mission, we didn’t do a whole lot of moving around the ship or mingling with the other Marines. Instead, we gathered together on shipboard, practicing our code. Always practicing.
Was she still angry? Yesterday my older brother Coolidge and I had lagged behind the herd, playing with our slings. We got in trouble with Old Auntie. Ah! There she was, piling juniper branches onto the campfire. Her form etched a black shadow against the dark gray of the landscape. Shimá Yázhí (“auntie” or “little mother”) hummed as she worked. She must be in a better mood. I turned and stared up into the dark. The sky arched above me, decorated by First Man and First Woman with familiar groupings of stars.