Through the warfare, Sandoval was one among a whole bunch of younger Navajo males recruited to make use of an 813-word code based mostly on the native Navajo language to ship and obtain army communications within the South Pacific Theater.
“Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval will all the time be remembered as a loving and brave one that sacrificed greater than we are going to ever know to defend our homelands utilizing our sacred Navajo language,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez stated in a press release. “We’re saddened by his passing, however, his legacy will all the time dwell on in our hearts and minds. On behalf of the Navajo Nation, we provide our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his spouse, Malula Sandoval, his kids, and plenty of family members.”
Sandoval was born in 1922 in Nageezi, New Mexico, and enlisted within the Marine Corps in 1943, the Navajo Nation launch stated. He accomplished primary coaching on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in California, the place the 29 unique Code Talkers had arrived in 1942.
The Code Talkers have been utilized in each main operation involving the Marines within the Pacific theater, and are credited with serving to the US take Iwo Jima.
Sandoval served in 5 fight excursions, together with Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, Peleliu, and Okinawa, earlier than he was honorably discharged on January 26, 1946, in accordance with the Navajo Nation launch.
He and different Navajo Code Talkers couldn’t discuss the code for greater than 20 years, till the operation was declassified in 1968.
In 1982, then-President Ronald Reagan gave the Code Talkers a Certificates of Recognition and declared August 14 Navajo Code Talkers Day.
Sandoval earned a number of awards for his service, together with a Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, a Fight Motion Ribbon, a China Service Medal, a World Battle II Victory Medal, a Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp and an Asiatic Pacific Marketing Campaign Medal with a silver star, in lieu of 5 bronze stars, the discharge stated.
Earlier this 12 months, Sandoval additionally obtained the 2022 American Spirit Award for Bravery by the Nationwide WWII Museum.
Following his service with the Marine Corps, Sandoval earned a certificate in substance abuse counseling and labored in Farmington, New Mexico as a counselor, the discharge stated. Within the Seventies, Sandoval opened his personal clinic, named To-Tah Alcohol Counseling.
“Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval was an incredible warrior and a compassionate household man. In each facet of his life, he was a loving one that cared enormously for his folks,” stated Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer. “At the moment, I ask our Diné folks to maintain his spirit and his household in your prayers as we give thanks for his life and his legacy.”
Three residing Navajo Code Talkers stay Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay.