Samuel Tom Holiday USMC

War is an extreme event in a nation’s history, and extreme events often require unique solutions. During the great World Wars I and II, America and her allies relied heavily on signals, communication, and information to guide troops and equipment, to coordinate attacks and defenses, and keep commanders informed on the latest information. In this era of incredibly rapid technological advancement, it was becoming harder and harder to protect those communications from enemy eyes and ears. Enemies would tap telephone wire lines, intercept radio transmissions, intercept physical messages and their messengers, and use of technology to crack any coding that was attempted. America realized early that we possessed an asset unique to this land. That asset was America’s Native People and their unique languages. The many languages of America’s Native population were unlike any other form of communication around the world, and knowledge of their use was non-existent outside of the US. The US military enlisted the help of these brave Americans as early as WWI. In WWII it is suspected that our military employed as many as 400 Native “Code Talkers”, but the exact number is unknown, because much of this program was classified. Samuel Tom Holiday was a Navajo Code Talker Enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1943. Samuel served with the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine division, fighting all over the Pacific Theatre. Holiday passed communications over radio with other Navajo Code Talkers ensuring that America’s enemies never captured valuable battlefield data. After the war Samuel returned to the Navajo reservation where he served as a police officer, and later started a heavy equipment company. He married and had several children. Holiday’s participation in the Code Talker program was classified until 1968. He didn’t share any details about the program with even his own family members until the 1980’s. Samuel was active in the veteran’s community throughout his life. He later became an advocate for sharing the story of the Navajo Code Talkers and their role in the war, and often visited schools to share his exciting stories. One year ago this week, on June 11, 2018 Samuel Tom Holiday passed away in St. George, Utah at the age of 94 He was a unique warrior and a unique kind of hero. Our nation stands proud of all its service people and all of its people. The Navajo Code talkers like Samuel Tom Holiday are one more special characteristic of our nation that makes us the greatest nation on earth.