When Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tso saw the tiny island of Iwo Jima for the first time, he thought US forces would be able to take it in one day. Even as they landed, the beaches were dead quiet. Only after they had made their way up the beach did the heavily entrenched Japanese open fire. It was not long before the young Marine reconsidered his first assessment. It would take more than a month of brutal combat before the island was secured. Samuel Tso bravely served with the US Marine Corps from February 13th, 1943 to March 29th, 1946. Even now, some 65 years later, he recalls with clarity the experience of crouching in bomb craters for cover, unable to ascertain the direction of fire until comrades on the opposite side of the crater were killed. Hearing his experiences, it becomes quite clear why the Navajo Code Talkers Museum & Veterans' Project is so meaningful to him. It will be a place where the Code Talkers can tell their own harrowing stories and help promote the cause of peace.
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