Wednesday, October 01, 2008

“Code-talker” legislation passes Senate

Bill honoring Tama County Native Americans Critical in WWII Allied Victory on its way to President’s desk

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that bipartisan legislation to honor Iowans of the Sac and Fox Tribe in Tama County who transmitted military code during World War II, has passed. Harkin sponsored the bill along with Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John Thune (R-SD) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).

“The Meskwaki ‘code-talkers’ made an invaluable contribution to the world’s fight against evil in the last century and have long been identified as the Marine Corps secret weapon,” Harkin said. “These men and women who served our country deserve the same acknowledgement and gratitude as the other brave soldiers who fought for our freedom. I am proud that this legislation allows for Congress to honor these great citizens.”

Specifically, the legislation authorizes Congressional Gold Commemorative Medals to be presented to all Native American Code Talkers, including Iowa's Meskwaki, in recognition of their contributions to the nation during World Wars I and II.

Previously, Harkin presented military medals to the families of six deceased Meskwaki World War II code-talkers. Harkin was able to secure the medals through his ongoing efforts to see that American service men and women are appropriately awarded the decorations they have earned.

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