Remaining Navajo Code Talkers Enjoy Their Day

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
PJ James and Teresa K. Deal adjust Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel’s ribbons at Code Talker Day Tuesday.

Published August 19, 2018

WINDOW ROCK — Marine Corps veteran and former prisoner of war “Gunny” PJ James walked over to Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel Sr., 97, and saw his uniform was not inspection-ready.

His ribbons were not at the proper height.

James, being a former Marine Corps drill instructor and the code talker’s flag carrier, or guide-on, began readjusting it for the World War II hero.

Kinsel paid no attention to what was going on as he made conversation and shook hands with admirers. After all, it was his and his eight remaining brothers-in-arms’ day. It was National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

“I’m like a young child who doesn’t take care of himself,” Kinsel joked in Navajo, as his daughter, Teresa K. Deal, helped James fix his military ribbons. After a few minutes, Kinsel’s uniform was in proper order.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published by the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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