Today, as we consider the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I want to take a moment and remember Hopis who served their village communities and the United States in World War II. One of these individuals was Rex Pooyouma from the village of Hotevilla on Third Mesa. During the War, Mr. Pooyouma served in the Native American Code Talker Communications Network. He was one of at least 10 Hopi code talkers who used their language to transmit critical messages that saved the lives of countless people and helped to end the War.
In November 1945, Mr. Pooyouma received an honorable discharge from the military at the rank of Private First Class. He was a decorated soldier and earned several medals, including the American Campaign Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal, and a Bronze Star. In October of this year, Mr. Pooyouma, the last known surviving Hopi code talker, passed away at the age of 93. He will always be remembered as a hero among our people and one who ventured beyond the Hopi mesas to serve his community and nation.
For more information on Mr. Pooyouma’s involvement in World War II and his role as a Hopi code talker, please visit the following website: http://nhonews.com/Main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=12971
Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert