NTEC sponsors showing of code talker documentary

SHIPROCK

Samuel Sandoval

Navajo Transitional Energy Company LLC, a business entity of the Navajo Nation, is sponsoring a special engagement of a documentary film “The Heart of a Warrior,” a film about Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval, according to an NTEC news release.

The showing is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at the Phil Thomas Performing Arts in Shiprock on June 21.

Sandoval and his wife, Malula, said they’ve wanted to show the documentary in Shiprock since the film was released in 2012.

The video was produced by Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. The idea for the documentary came after Samuel was a guest speaker at the college in 2012.

In addition, Sandoval, 93, is from Shiprock and is the last living code talker in Shiprock. So the engagement is special for Sandoval and his wife. This is will be the first time the documentary will be shown to a large audience in his hometown.

“We want to have his legacy remembered for future generations,” said Malula.

Samuel said he remembers how the Navajo language was encoded so it would not use English words so the Japanese couldn’t figure out what the communications were saying.

“There are a lot of words that don’t fit in the Navajo language,” he said.

Examples were different ships like an aircraft carrier or torpedo ships and the names of countries that don’t have words in the Navajo language.

“There was a struggle in making (the code) because we were using terms that weren’t in everyday Navajo language,” Samuel said.

Aside from talking about his military life as a code talker, Samuel said he worried about the future of the Navajo language.

“I’m always concerned about the Navajo language in the youngsters. It’s their language,” he said.

As a result, he hopes that the showing of his documentary will inspire younger Navajo people to take pride in their language.

One lingering memory remains with the 93-year-old code talker about his father.

Since information about the code talkers were not declassified until 1968, Samuel’s father passed away before he could tell him about his role in winning World War II.

“I never got to tell him what I did. He knew I was in the Marines, but he never knew what I did,” Samuel said.

“We are honored to assist Code Talker Samuel Sandoval with the viewing of the documentary about his life and his service to our country,” said NTEC CEO Clark Moseley. “The Navajo Code Talkers were instrumental in aiding America with a victory in the Pacific Theater in World War II. We’re honored to help tell the story of one of America’s true heroes.”

Copies of the video will be sold on the night of the showing and proceeds will go toward the Johnson Community College Scholarship Fund.


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