Seaford Young Marines Vist with Navajo Code Talkers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Seaford Young Marines Vist with Navajo Code Talkers

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SEAFORD, Del. -- Youth members from the Seaford Young Marines traveled to Window Rock, AZ to participate in National Navajo Code Talkers Day which was Thursday, Aug. 14.

Seventeen WWII veteran Navajo Code Talkers attended. The Young Marines not only met Code Talkers, they acted as escorts for the very special veterans.

They cleaned up Veteran's Memorial Park, attended a class about the Code Talkers, set up flags and marched in the Navajo Nation parade, provided gifts for the Navajo Code Talkers and their wives and visited the Navajo Nation Zoo and the Navajo Museum.

Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather in Window Rock to honor and give praise to the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII. This year, 223 Young Marines and adult leaders made the trip. The Young Marines' theme for 2014 was, “Treasure the Legacy.”

“It was a privilege to educate the Young Marines about the role of the Navajo Code Talkers and give them the opportunity to meet these living heroes,” said Michael Smith, coordinator of Navajo Code Talker Day and son of Samuel Smith, Navajo Code Talker.

The Young Marines planned and ran a 5K fundraising run which made $3,000. The money is designated to help pay for Code Talker funerals.

“Navajo Code Talkers Day was an incredibly humbling experience,” said YM SgtMaj Blake DeWeese, National Young Marine of the Year, 2014-2015. “It provided a vivid depiction of the sacrifice and hardship the Navajo faced. We all had a greater appreciation of people as strong as the Navajo.”

“It's rare to meet people who have had such an impact on our lives,” said Brenda McNulty, registered adult leader, Mountain View unit of the Young Marines and organizer of the event. “These men are more than just WWII heroes. They are dear friends to the Young Marines.”In fact, McNulty heard a very meaningful compliment: If it weren't for the Young Marines, the Code Talkers would be forgotten.

“Speaking with some of the Code Talkers was a valuable experience that the Young Marines will cherish for years to come,” DeWeese said. “Everyone came away with a story to tell and an experience upon which to reflect.”

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