Among those tribes honored Wednesday: Wisconsin's Oneida Tribe of Indians, which had four code talkers during the war, the Ho-Chunk Nation with seven and the Menominee Nation with five. None of the Wisconsin soldiers lived to see their once-secret service recognized.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), who co-sponsored the 2008 legislation authorizing the creation of the medals, credited code talkers for saving countless lives by being able to use their native languages to transmit in seconds secret battlefield messages that would have taken a coding machine at least 30 minutes to send.
Enemy forces never broke their code, Kind noted.
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