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A representative of River Valley High School in Marion, Ohio, presents Merill Sandoval with a plaque and medal on Veteran’s Day (Photo courtesy of Sandoval family).

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Life of Navajo code talker Merril Sandoval celebrated

TUBA CITY, - Merril Sandoval often told family members that his experiences as a Code Talker in Iwo Jima was the defining moment of his life-but that his best career was raising his children. Sandoval, a Marine Corps Code Talker, was in declining health for the past year and traveled to Phoenix for tests, fully expecting to return home to his family the following day. However he passed away on Feb. 9.