Honoring American Indian Veterans: Navajo
David Jordan lives in the Four Corners area of Navajo Reservation, his home nestled in the Carrizo Mountains. David is a Navajo Code Talker and a significant contributor to the history of America and the Navajo Nation. David was drafted right after high school into the Marine Corps. He received the typical training of any Marine and says that a lot of the boarding school kids that were recruited made “good marksmen” in the military–“gotta be steady.”
David also received specialized training to belong to the elite group of US Marine Corps World War II Navajo Code Talkers. The Navajo language that David was brought up on as a child was used to ensure secure communications against the enemy during the war. David is quick to say he was not part of the original “29,” meaning the first 29 Navajo selected as Code Talkers, but he is among the 400 or so that served their country in this capacity.
The Navajo community of Sweetwater recently honored David for his service to country and clan. He was presented with gifts and a Marine Corp scrap book that included photos of his service during the war. These tributes have all been part of an honoring long overdue for so many American Indian warriors who sacrificed their lives for their country.
**Laura Schad is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in SD and holds an Associate’s in Early Childhood Education from Oglala Lakota College. For over a decade, she worked with Head Start and rural initiatives. Currently, she does field visits with NRC Program Partners and participants on many reservations.