Code talker remembered

NBC NEWS/KPNX
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POSTED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 11:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 11:09pm

Sidney Bedoni, one of the Navajo Code Talkers crucial to American success in World War II, has passed away at the age of 91. Bruce Cooper reports.

(KPNX) Navajo Code Talker Sidney Bedoni died Sunday. He was 91.

Bedoni served in the Marines from 1942 to 1946 after enlisting at 16 years old when recruiters came to Tuba City, where he was attending boarding.

Up until that point, he had been encouraged by instructors not to speak the Navajo language his parents had taught him. It would be his knowledge of the language that would help him transmit coded messages and thwart enemy eavesdroppers as a Code Talker during World War II.

Bedoni's grandson, Eric Mantanona of Mesa, remembers his grandfather's patriotism.

"He would wear his red Marine Code Talker hat everywhere he went out," Mantanona said. "He was extremely proud of his service to his country and loved sharing stories with people."

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