White House OKs Code Talker Medals
Diné Bureau
Gallup Independent

WINDOW ROCK — Nine Navajo Code Talkers have been confirmed by the White House to receive long-awaited Congressional silver medals at the Navajo Nation Veterans' Day celebration on November 11.

Arizona Representative Rick Renzi has been designated by the White House to present the medals to the code talkers.

Those who have been confirmed are Bud Haycock, Willie Anthony Notah, Carl Cinniginnie, Peter Yazza, Alfred Tsosie, Robert T. Shorty, Paul Kinlicheeny, Kent C. Henry, and Tom Hunter. Tsosie will receive the medal posthumously, as he was killed in action.

New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced the "Honoring the Navajo Code Talkers Act," which was signed into law on December 22, 2000.

The act recognizes the code talkers and presents the original code talkers with gold medals, and those who trained and were eligible to be code talkers with silver medals.

Wayne Saltwater, from the Office of the Veterans, said that all the gold medals have been awarded, but former Navajo Marines are still coming forward to be recognized as code talkers.

Those who are confirmed by the Commander of the United States Marines re eligible to receive silver medals.

The Congressional Gold and Silver Medals are designed specifically for the recipient.

Saltwater said the gold medals are worth $30,000 and the silver medals are worth nearly $15,000.

The celebration is being coordinated by the Fort Defiance Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of the Speaker, and the Office of Miss Navajo.

November 10 5 p.m. U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Window Rock Sports Center

5:30 p.m. Candelight Vigil at Veterans Park; Honor March from Wells Fargo Bank to Veterans Park

8 p.m. Refreshments November 11 6:30 a.m. Flag Raising at Veterans Park

8 a.m. Parade line-up from Veterans Park to Window Rock Sports Center

9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast at Window Rock Sports Center

10 a.m. Veterans Day Messages by President Joe Shirley, Jr., Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan, Chief Justice at Window Rock Sports Center

10:30 a.m. Keynote Address by Brigadier General Jan D. Eakle, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base at Window Rock Sports Center

11:15 a.m. Silver Medal presentation to the Navajo code Talkers at Window Rock Sports Center

12 - 8 p.m. Free barbecue luncheon at the Fairgrounds' BBQ pit; Entertainment at the Food Pavilion

1 p.m. Gourd Honor Dance at Nakai Hall; Song and Dance at Wauneka Arena; and Care Packaging at Window Rock Sports Center

9 p.m. Night Breeze Band at Nakai Hall (PAID ADMISSION with care package contribution).

© 2003 The Gallup Independent.

Reprinted as a historical document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html