(Evergreen Public Schools/Flickr)
Navajo Code Talker David Patterson at a 2010 Veteran's Day ceremony at Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington.

Navajo Code Talker Will Be Honored at MLB All-Star Game


Veterans will be honored at the MLB All-Star Game to be played July 16 at Citi Field in Queens, New York (despite the home club New York Mets offending American Indians this week). And one of those will be Navajo Code Talker David Patterson. He will represent the Los Angeles Dodgers at the event.

By fan selection through a People magazine effort called Tribute to Heroes, Patterson and 29 other vets, one per MLB team, were voted in and will be honored at the baseball game. Meet all the vets here.

Here is the biography of Patterson provided by People.

David E. Patterson Sr. of Rio Rancho, N.M., is among an elite group of marines who helped create the only unbroken code in modern military history. As one of the Navajo Code Talkers, David and other Navajos coded and decoded classified military dispatches during WWII using a code derived from their native tongue. The Code Talkers took part in every Marine assault, from Guadalcanal in 1942 to Okinawa in 1945, including the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Iwo Jima, and Saipan, and doubtless helped win the war. After he was discharged, David, now 90, went to college in Oklahoma and New Mexico, becoming a social worker. He married and raised his family on the reservation in Shiprock, N.M., and worked for the Navajo Nation's Division of Social Services until retiring in 1987. He was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor in 2001 and up until last year volunteered in a Shiprock school on the Navajo Reservation as a foster grandparent.