Co-author of Code Talker book remembers Chester Nez

Created: 06/09/2014 10:33 PM
By: Tom Joles, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There's Chester Nez the Code Talker and Chester Nez the man.

Judith Avila got to know both.

Avila admits she knew little about World War II, or the Code Talkers, until meeting Nez in 2007.

"This code was code, other Navajos couldn't break this code, it was brilliant. It was double encrypted and people in the military are still studying that code," Avila said.

When their book started selling, she told Nez--who she called Papa-- maybe it was time to spend some of his money to buy a new car. 

"He'd just get this little smile on his face and say, I'm just happy all those people who bought my book are going to know what my Navajo people did for my country," Avila said.

That was the proud Navajo Code Talker she got to know.

Avila gets emotional when talking about the man she got to know.

"We lost the very kind of man we need to keep. We need men like Chester Nez in this world.  I'd ask him, Papa why did you do when people treated you so poorly because you're Native American? He'd just shrug and say, that's the way it was back then but it's much better now," Avila said.

It's better now, in part, because of men like Chester Nez.

Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor of Nez and the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.

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