Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving always brings many fond memories... and today I am honored to share a very faint memory for most... about some great American heroes that served in secret... and saved unknown thousands of lives... the Code Talkers.

Military dot com
Marines Honor Ties to Code Talkers

FOB DELARAM II, Afghanistan -- Many triumphs and sacrifices distinguish the military service of the Navajo people. Perhaps most famous, is the story of the Navajo Code Talkers. During WWII these men ciphered thousands of battlefield messages in the Pacific theatre, saving countless lives and helping end the war. Few of these men are still here today to tell their account, but as Lance Cpl. Devin Bidtah, a Navajo Code Talker descendant explains, their legacy still thrives, and their story that inspired so many, will be honored.

“The Navajos have a strong history in serving,” said Bidtah, a field radio operator with Regimental Combat Team 2. “As my Navajo elders are watching, I try not to upset them. Being out here, I try to do my best.”...

Because no written key to the secret language was permitted in theatre for fear it may be discovered, these Navajo became “walking codes,” carrying the source of their encryptions entirely by memory.

In the first two days of fighting at Iwo Jima, the Code Talkers transcribed more than 800 messages, with perfect accuracy.

At the war’s end, they were sworn to secrecy. The oath these silent warriors honored protected the secret techniques, but also served to deny them the accolades they deserved.

Decades later the Code Talkers were acknowledged, and awarded gold and silver congressional medals, one of which Bidtah found that fateful day he decided to join the Corps.

“It’s an honor,” Bidtah said. “It feels good knowing my cheii’ did something good for the Navajo people; his name; our family.”....

We are thankful.

Salute and Semper Fi!

xtnyoda, shalomed

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