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Old 11-18-2004, 02:47 PM   #1
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Sam Billison, Navajo Code Talker, passes on

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URL: http://www.indianz.com/News/2004/005416.asp

Sam Billison, Navajo Code Talker, passes on
Thursday, November 18, 2004

Samuel Billison, one of the most prominent Navajo Code Talkers, died on Wednesday of heart complications. He was around 78 or 79.

Billison enlisted in the U.S. Marines at a young age and was recruited as a Code Talker. He served in the Pacific Theater, where the skills of the Navajo soldiers in developing and using an unbreakable code helped the U.S. win World War II.

Billison received a Congressional Silver Medal for his efforts. He was one of more than 300 young Navajos who followed the original group of Code Talkers, who received Gold Medals.

Billison served as the public spokesman for his fellow soldiers as president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association. His voice was recorded for the Navajo Code Talker GI Joe doll.

Billison was more than a Code Talker. He was an educator who worked as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He also spent two terms on the Navajo Nation Council.

Get the Story:
Codetalker Billison dies (The Farmington Daily Times 11/18)
Code Talker Was Voice of GI Joe Doll (The Albuquerque Journal 11/18)
Samuel Billison, was a Code Talker (AP 11/18)
Navajo Nation Speaker's statement on the loss of Dr. Samuel Billison (Navajo Nation Council 11/17)

Relevant Links:
Navajo Code Talkers - http://www.navajocodetalkers.org
Sen. Jeff Bingaman's Code Talkers' Site - http://bingaman.senate.gov/code_talkers
Harrison Lapahie Jr's Code Talkers' Site - http://www.lapahie.com/NavajoCodeTalker.html

Related Stories:
Code Talker statue unveiled at Navajo Nation Fair (09/09)
Navajo Code Talker recounts experience in WWII (03/03)
Professor dispels myths about Indian Code Talkers (01/22)
Navajo Code Talker discusses role in war (11/19)
Navajo Code Talker mistaken for Japanese twice (11/13)
Navajo Code Talkers to get Congressional medals (11/11)
Code Talkers to discuss experiences at event (7/18)
Code Talkers monument set for Ariz. capitol (04/25)
Bill signed for Code Talkers monument in Ariz. (4/22)
'Let's keep those damn Indians' (11/08)
Navajo Code Talkers frank about movie (08/23)
Code Talker inspires athlete grandson (08/12)
Opinion: Not just Navajo code talkers (07/26)
Opinion: Windtalkers ignored true story (7/1)
Weak opening for Code Talker movie (6/17)
Windtalkers movie opens nationwide (6/14)
Comanche man was Code Talker too (6/13)
Code Talker movie set for debuts (6/12)
Code Talkers movie premieres (6/5)
Code Talker movie features first-timer (5/13)
Code Talkers receive special medal (5/2)
Code Talkers upset with Begaye (3/25)
Code Talker gets his medal (3/11)
Code Talker day set (3/8)
Navajo Code Talker gets own day (3/4)
Code Talker to get his medal (2/26)
Paper blasts Navajo Nation (2/22)
Code Talker still doesn't have medal (2/19)
Navajo man confirmed as Code Talker (2/11)
Navajo man recognized as Code Talker (2/7)
Code Talkers on display in Ariz. (1/18)
Ceremony honors Code Talkers (12/10)
Navajo Code Talkers given awards (11/26)
Code Talkers honored at S.D. powwow (10/15)
Code Talker movie delayed (10/2)
Code Talker ceremony postponed (10/1)
N.M. honors Code Talker (9/13)
Code Talkers honored for contributions (7/27)
'Windtalkers' splashes onto DC scene (7/27)
In The Hoop: Navajo Code Talker Pics (7/27)
Bush to honor Code Talkers (7/23)
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Old 11-18-2004, 03:03 PM   #2
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I am very sad to hear that he has past, my prayers goes out to his family. I did not know he was the speakers for the Code Talker GI Joe Doll. I had just ordered that doll for my son for his Birthday.
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Old 11-18-2004, 04:09 PM   #3
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I went to high school with one of his sons.

His father, the late Dr. Sam Billison was quite the public speaker and a great advocate for veterans rights on the Navajo Nation and beyond. He, and others before him, like the late Harold Foster pushed hard for Code Talker recognition, for Navajo Code Talkers and for Code Talkers from other Tribal Nations.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:18 PM   #4
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Dr. Sam Billison was also a strong advocate for Education. He was a teacher, principal, superintendent, served on the Navajo Nation Council Education Committee. He was one of those few people who truely dedicated his life to improving the lives of his people in whatever way he could.

Our people have lost an honorable leader and hero!
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Old 11-27-2004, 12:44 AM   #5
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My thoughts and prayers go out to the families. My grandpa was a code talker too, his name was Enoch Smith. He wasn't one of the original ones, but joined at a later time. I never met my grandpa, but his legacy still remains and so does Dr,. Billison. He'll be remembered always and I hope the nation keeps the acknowledgement and awareness of our veterans fresh in their minds. I've noticed a rise in Veteran awareness after Lori Piestewa passed on because it hit too close to home. When 9/11 happened, we paid tribute to our local heroes-firefighters, police officers, emt's for their brave actions during those horrific days. Mr. Billison was great man. He'll be surely missed.
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