Shelly orders flags at half-staff to honor Code Talker

Samuel Tso passed away last night with family members at his side

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Navajo Nation has lost another heroic Code Talker.

Samuel Tso, 89, of Lukachukai, Ariz., passed away Wednesday, May 9, 2012 with family members beside him at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has ordered the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half-staff beginning at today, May 10, through sundown May 14, to honor Code Talker Tso for his service to the Navajo Nation and his country in World War II.

"The Navajo Nation has lost another Code Talker and that saddens my heart. The Code Talkers have brought great pride to our Nation and the loss of Samuel Tso saddens not only myself, his loss saddens the Navajo Nation. On behalf of the First Lady, the Vice President, and the Navajo people, we offer our prayers, condolences and words of encouragement to the Tso family. Samuel Tso was a true Navajo warrior," said President Shelly.

Code Talker Tso was born on June 22, 1922, at Black Mountain near Many Farms, Ariz. However, he frequently told stories about how he made up his birth date to get a job.

Code Talker Tso was Zuni Tachiinii and born for Nakai Dine'e.

In addition, family members said, Tso wasn't one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.

Funeral services are pending with Desert View Funeral Home in Shiprock, N.M.

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