John Brown, original Navajo Code Talker, dies at 88
John Brown Jr., one of the original Navajo Code Talkers, died on Wednesday. He was 88.

Brown was a member of the first group of Navajo soldiers who used their language to help the U.S. during World War II. He received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

"We have seen much in our lives; we have experienced war and peace; we know the value of freedom and democracy that this great nation embodies, " Brown said at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on July 26, 2001. "But, our experiences have also shown us how fragile these things can be, and how we must stay ever vigilant to protect them. As Code Talkers -- as Marines -- we did our part to protect these values. It is my hope that our young people will carry on this honorable tradition as long as the grass shall grow and the rivers flow."

Brown was born in Arizona attended schools in Arizona and New Mexico. He served on the Navajo council from 1962-1982 and later as chapter president in Crystal, Arizona.

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One of last original Navajo Code Talkers dies (AP 5/21)