Don Warner, a longtime Kendrick resident, has been the recipient of a distinguished honor recently. Don was born into the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. His uncle, Eugene Walking Shield was a Code Talker during World War II. His uncle is de-
ceased and the tribe asked Don, as his oldest living relative, to receive the Congres-
sional Medal of Honor in his place.
At 89 years old, this is a special honor for Don in many ways. He is the great grandson of Chief Gall of the Sioux Tribe. Don served his country during World War II as well. As a new member of the Army, he was sent for basic training at Aberdeen, Maryland. From there he went on to auto mechanic’s school in Atlanta, Georgia. He soon found himself deployed to the Philippines. He was in charge of over 5000 Japanese prisoners of war that were being returned to Japan. He also was a reporter for the Army newspaper “The Daily Pacific.”
The Code Talkers were one of the main reasons the Germans were conquered in World War II. They simply could not break the codes. We owe a great debt to the 44,000 Native Americans that fought alongside troops in every branch of the service.
Because they considered it “shameful” to wait to be drafted, by 1945 ninety-nine percent of the Native American draft eligible men had joined the war effort. The Code Talkers were not only capable with their language and coding skills, they also excelled in com-
bat. The Native American culture contributed in other ways to the war effort. Over $50 million dollars was sold in war bonds on American Reservations.