About Richard Platero, Navajo Code Talker
Richard Platero was born in New Mexico on May 5, 1902.
As he grew up he became fluent in both English and his native Navajo language, so when in the 1940's the call came for Navajo Code Talkers, Richard was highly qualified. He joined the US Marine Corps and was trained in the code created by 'the first 29' and went to work. His duties took him into battle after battle, and he survived a hero. By the time World War II was over, Richard was in his 40's; a full decade older than most of his contemporaries.
He returned home and raised a family, keeping silent about his contribution to victory in the Pacific Theatre because he was told to do so, in case they were needed again. Then in 1968, the role of the Navajo Code Talker became common knowledge.
When Richard was 100 years old; no longer able to walk or stand well, his breathing assisted with oxygen, he was invited to a ceremony at the Navajo Nation Capitol in Window Rock, Arizona to receive the award of a Congressional Silver Medal of Honor, struck for only Navajo Code Talkers. His grandson, himself a career soldier, was by his side.
Richard passed away on April 22nd, 2004 -less than 2 weeks before his 102nd birthday.
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