Navajo Code Talker uniform of George Harlan Kirk Sr.
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA—After missing for nearly 30 years, the Navajo Code Talker uniform of George Harlan Kirk Sr. returned home to the Navajo Nation.
“What I did was simple. I returned what I consider to be a national treasure to its rightful owner,” said Craig Gottlieb, treasure hunter and retired Marine major.
The uniform was on display last Thursday morning on National Code Talkers Day at the Navajo Nation Museum as onlookers, Navajo and Hopi tribal members, former code talkers and descendants of code talkers watched in awe, according to Navajo Nation Museum Director Wheeler Manuelito.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said, “We are here to honor brave men, the Navajo Code Talker. They showed the world their strength and power of the Navajo language.”
When Gottlieb spoke to the crowd gathered at the museum, he explained that he had such respect for the code talkers that he had to give it back to the people.
“Without the code talkers the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima,” he said proudly to the crowd.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights apply.