Native Sun News: Long overdue honor for Lakota Code Talkers

Advocate Tribute Daniel Ross (U.S. Army PFC) and Rufus Ross (U.S. Army PFC) are two Yankton Sioux Tribe brothers who served as Code Talkers in World War II. Courtesy photo

Lakota code talkers to be honored
Last Lakota Code Talker died in 2010
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

It took more than 60 years for it to happen, but better late than never.

On Oct. 15, 2008, the 110th Congress enacted Public Law 110-420. The “Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008” required the “…issuance of medals to recognize the dedication and valor of Native American code talkers.”

By definition, a “code talker” refers to a Native American who served during a foreign conflict and transmitted a secret coded message in their traditional tribal language for military operations during World War I and World War II.

The Native American code talkers took great pride in the oath of secrecy for their service as military instruments which helped to defeat the enemies of the United States on many battle fields.

Clarence Wolf Guts, last surviving Lakota code talker who passed away in 2010, testified at the 2004 Senate Hearing: “I am a full-blood Indian, and we do whatever we can to protect the United States because we love America… I was sitting there in the foxhole with a radio, trying to give the orders that were given to us to pass on to the chief-of-staff… We used our own code and we did whatever we could to protect our country… When I see young children playing without supervision, I realize why we’re over there.”

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