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Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever Senior Passes Away In New Mexico

Another Navajo Code Talker has passed away. The Navajo Nation says Joe Vandever Senior passed away Friday morning due to health complications in Haystack, New Mexico. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says “the Navajo people lost another great warrior who sacrificed more than we’ll ever know to defend our country.” Vandever enlisted in 1943 and was discharged as a Corporal in 1946. He served in the northern Solomans, Guam, Okinawa and other areas during World War Two. During the war, code talkers played a valuable role to send messages and code to allied forces by using their native language. It was a code the Germans and Japanese couldn’t break. Vandever was married for 73 years to his wife Bessie, who passed away in September of 2019. He leaves behind a sister, five sons, three daughters, 36 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Vandever was 96-years-old. Of the 421 members of the group, only four Marines are still alive.