By Megan Blackwell
While COVID-19 attacks the world, communities help each other stay afloat. South Korea has been sending lots of supplies, namely masks, around the world. Recently the South Korean government shipped 10,000 masks to the Navajo Nation in honor of Navajo veteran’s service in the Korean War. The Navajo Nation’s infection rate for COVID-19 rivals that of New York; it’s one of the hardest hit communities in the U.S.
In the Korean War, Navajo men served and many worked as code talkers; the Navajo language is incredibly complex, and the enemy was unable to break their coded radio messages. While over half a century has passes since the conclusion of that war, at least 130 of the 800 Navajo men who served are still alive.
“We hope our small gifts will console the veterans in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The government remembers those who made a noble sacrifice to defend a strange country 70 years ago, and we hope they will proudly tell their posterity about the choice they made so many years ago,” said committee co-chairman Kim Eun-gi.
South Korea has been honoring many of its allies – the South Korean government also donated over a million masks to various foreign veterans, including 500,000 masks to the Department of Veteran Affairs in honor of other American soldiers who fought in Korea.
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