Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Alfred Newman. Alfred served during World War II.
During World War II, the Marine Corps struggled to create a secret radio code which could be easily deciphered by friendly soldiers on the ground, but impossible to decipher for enemy Japanese forces. In response to repeated failures, a program was established using the languages of Native American tribes, one of which was the Navajo language.
Alfred grew up in New Mexico and enlisted with the Marine Corps in 1943. He was one of over 400 Navajos who enlisted with the Marine Corps during World War II.
After completing his training, Alfred was assigned as a code talker for 1st Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. Alfred and the 1st Battalion participated in the Pacific Island-hopping campaign, where they took part in several major offenses including the Battle of Guam and the Battle of Iwo Jima.
After the surrender of Japan in 1945, Alfred was discharged and returned to his home state of New Mexico. There, he lived with his wife and children and began working as an explosive inspector at a local mine.
The Navajo code is known as the only military code of the war not to be deciphered by the enemy. Because of the code’s sensitive nature, Alfred and his fellow code talkers could not speak of or acknowledge their wartime activities until they were declassified in 1968. Alfred and his fellow code talkers received Congressional Gold Medals in 2000.
Alfred passed away in New Mexico on January 13, 2019 at the age of 94.
We honor his service.
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
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It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.