Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the by Chester Nez

By Chester Nez

He's the one unique global 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 was once assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding institution at fortress Defiance, he used to be punished for conversing 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 state after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have continually 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 became to its Navajo recruits to improve and enforce a mystery army language, they created the single unbroken code in sleek warfare—and helped guarantee victory for the us over Japan within the South Pacific.


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I didn’t even know his name. My body went cold. My throat tightened up, and I struggled for breath. My eyes burned with unshed tears. After that, I did my best not to look at the faces of the dead. With heavy seawater filling our boots and dragging against each step, Roy and I forced ourselves to struggle forward. The killing fields. Our baptism. The word the drill instructors had used in basic training kept running through my head. Baptism. Baptism. Baptism. Navajo belief forbids contact with the dead, but we waded through floating bodies, intent on not becoming one of them.

Roy sighed. “I’m going to pray,” he said. Hot tears burned my eyelids, and I noticed that Roy wiped at his eyes with both fists. “You and I, we’re going to get through this,” I said. Roy just nodded. I moved my lips, making no sound. Lord, please help me. I switched to a traditional Navajo prayer. In beauty I walk. With beauty before me I walk. With beauty behind me I walk. With beauty around me I walk. With beauty above me I walk. With beauty below me I walk. Prayers were a comfort for me. They gave me confidence.

And over everything stretched the sky—at times boiling with thunderheads, at others a bottomless inverted lake of pristine blue. The sun ruled supreme, making its powerful presence known nearly every day. ” “Me, too,” said Old Auntie’s twelve-year-old sister. My two older brothers, Charlie Gray, in his early twenties, and Coolidge, in his teens, rolled out of their bedrolls. Uncle, Auntie’s late-twenties brother, just a couple of years younger than Old Auntie, stirred and stretched under his sheepskin blanket.

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