The Navajo Code Talker Memorial in Window Rock, Arizona. Photo: John Fowler

Johnny Rustywire: The sad tale of a Marine who returned to the Navajo Nation

Writer Johnny Rustywire, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, shares the tale of a young Marine who returned to the reservation with a new bride:
I thought about a story told around home. It happened after the Korean War, about a young soldier who came back on the Greyhound with his young bride.

It was some time ago now, over by Sheep Springs. It is way out there, this place, Sheep Springs, but it is near the road. It took a while to get there in those days. The road from Gallup to Shiprock was dirt, but the Greyhound took them that way.

He was from just East of there, from out on the flat—a young soldier, a Marine in dress blues. Somehow, those blues attract a lot of Navajo young men and they look good in that uniform, pants cut straight with the ground, stove pipe legs, a thin waist, gallant and handsome, straight back and hair cut short and when they move it is like a razor. The crowd parts like the Red Sea in front of them. That is what those dress blues can do.

Well, he brought a girl. Some say she was Japanese. She had skin that was like white chalk, clear and light with jet-black hair. She had met this young man and listened to his talk of distant mesas, of the mountain to the West, of strange and interesting things like Sings, ceremonies and a life like she had never heard of or seen before.

Read More on the Story:
Johnny Rustywire: The Sad Tale of the Man in Dress Blues (Indian Country Media Network August 23, 2017)