By Chester Nez
He's the one unique international warfare II Navajo code talker nonetheless alive—and this can be his tale . . .
His identify wasn’t Chestesr Nez. That was once the English identify he was once assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding tuition at castle Defiance, he was once 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 safeguard his kingdom after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have regularly 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 international battle II, the japanese had controlled to crack each code the U.S. used. but if the Marines grew to become to its Navajo recruits to advance and enforce a mystery army language, they created the single unbroken code in glossy warfare—and helped guarantee victory for the U.S. over Japan within the South Pacific.
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Additional resources for Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII
Life on the Checkerboard was even more difficult. “We could go for three or four days without eating,” Chester recalls. “Everything always comes last to the Checkerboard. My sister Dora’s house is wired for electricity, but she still has no power. ” That was in 2007. Dora’s house is located on the Checkerboard land where Chester grew up. She died in 2008, still with no electricity. The account of Chester’s life is important because it tells of a people whose deeds have too often been overlooked.
The dark, sleeping form of a porcupine lay draped in a crook of the limb. My pulse raced. Porcupine meat was delicious. ” Coolidge climbed the tree, placing each foot carefully. I bent to grab the broken limb from the ground. Coolidge shook the branch where the porcupine lay, and the startled animal fell. One quick club with the limb killed the prickly critter. I silently thanked the spirit of the porcupine for allowing us to catch him so easily. Coolidge singed the quills from the furry body over Old Auntie’s cook fire and dug a pit.
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. The rain had stopped. Lying still, I savored the aromas of earth, wet piñon, and sagebrush. The comforting smell of damp wool and the fragrance of juniper sticks burning in Auntie’s fire told me that all was as it should be.