Standing Rock Tribe Honored for Code Talkers in WWI and WWII - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Standing Rock Tribe Honored for Code Talkers in WWI and WWII

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Code Talkers are considered the "forgotten" heroes of World War I and World War II, but their families and tribes remember their service to the country.

This week so did Congress handing out the Congressional Gold Medal to Code Talkers of those wars.

Native American Code Talkers helped the US military send messages that couldn't be deciphered by the enemy.

33 Native American tribes were recognized for their work as Code Talkers--each receiving this gold medal.

KX News caught up with the delegation representing North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they returned from Washington D.C.

Standing Rock received an additional 47 silver medals for each veteran who served as a Code Talker.

"Two families that were represented out there of the 47 one was the John Bear King family, a WWII Code Talker and the other my grandfather George Sleeps From Home and he was a WWI CodeTalker." says Frank White Bull/Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Councilman.

Some consider this recognition long overdue.

It was common for Code Talkers to never speak of the work they did in the wars... and many of the veterans took their secret to the grave.

It took an act of Congress in 2008 to authorize the creation of these medals.

 "In our culture we were told not to talk about things especially of war and now that it's brought forth and it was a very touching moment and it was an awesome event." says Jennifer Martel/Sitting Bull College.

"Long overdue for these veterans. They're all mostly deceased. There's a few WWII veterans left on our reservation and I'm just happy to be part of this." says Richard Red Eagle McLaughlin /Medal Coordinator.

The Congressional Gold medal is the highest civilian honor given by Congress.

Standing Rock is planning a formal event to present the silver medals to the families of the 47 Code Talkers.

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