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Flags on the Navajo Nation are flying at half-staff to honor the life and passing of of Diné World War II veteran Bennie S. Cowboy. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during the war. Cowboy passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. He was 95.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a proclamation calling for all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff on Nov. 10, 2021.

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“As we mourn the loss of our Diné warrior, Bennie S. Cowboy, we also honor and remember all his great sacrifices for our Navajo people and the United States. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Rita, his children and grandchildren, and the Mariano Lake community. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who cherished his family. We pray that his family takes comfort in knowing that he is now with God at this time,” President Nez said.

Bennie S. Cowboy is Tó'aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flowing Together) and born for Bit'ahnii (His Sheaves under His Cover Clan), and he was born in Naalini, located northwest of Pinedale, N.M. 

Cowboy served in the U.S. Marine Corps with the 6th Marine Division, 22nd Marines, 3rd Platoon, C-Battery, during the World War II South Pacific Campaign as an accomplished Marksman. He was wounded in Okinawa in March 1945, and honorably discharged. He returned to the Navajo Nation following his honorable discharge to support his family. 

Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie, who represents Cowboy’s home community, as a member of the 24th Navajo Nation Council also paid tribute and offered his condolences. 

“We honor and give thanks for the life of Bennie S. Cowboy. Despite being wounded in battle, he persevered and built a legacy for his family while giving back to his community. I had the honor of knowing Mr. Cowboy for many years. To his family, we offer our condolences as we pray for strength for his loved ones,” Delegate Yazzie said.

Survivors include his wife, Rita J. Cowboy, his children Gailene Morgan, Lorraine Cowboy, and Judy A. Cowboy, 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren. 

The funeral service for Bennie S. Cowboy will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (MST) at Cope Memorial Chapel in Gallup, N.M. 

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