The Missing Navajo Code Talker: His Life and the Silent Wound of War

Friday, January 8, 2016: 10:50 AM
Room A706 (Atlanta Marriott Marquis)
Zonnie Gorman, University of New Mexico
In the spring of 1942, twenty-nine young Navajos rode into history to become the now famous original group of United States Marine Navajo Code Talkers. They were the pilot, recruited to devise and test the feasibility of a voice code created in the Navajo language. Today, these men are remembered as the “first twenty-nine.” Yet the initial orders to recruit this first group of men had called for thirty.   Subsequently, in the seventy years following World War II, an aura of mystery has surrounded the supposed “missing man.” Zonnie Gorman, the daughter of one of the original “first twenty-nine,” will share her recent discovery of the “missing man’s” identity, his own remarkable and tragic war story, and how this discovery has helped one family recognize the generational wounds of war and begin the process of healing, reconciliation, and closure.