Monday, July 30, 2012

YES week wrap up

     Young Entrepreneurial Scholars week wrapped up last week, It was a great time! The Chamber explored and learned more about the featured businesses. Watch this video of how it went and the entrepreneurial learning that took place!

Featured post: Northern Arizona Volunteer Medical Corp

Name of your organization:  Northern Arizona Volunteer Medical Corps

Length of time you’ve been around: Organization began in 1995, 17 years

Why did you start the organization? What is your goal/mission?
                The organization was set up initially to provide medical care to people around the world who do not have access to medical treatment.  Our current mission is to provide quality, compassionate medical care to Haiti following the earthquake in 2012.  We are working with Hospital Bernard Mews in Port-au-Prince treating children and adults with severe illness and those suffering injuries from trauma.  We are training  the Haitian health care providers working there.  We are also supporting  two orphanages in Haiti.  We are working to feed, educate and to house these children left orphaned after the earthquake.

What does your organization primarily specialize in?
Our group includes physicians, nurses and other medical professionals providing medical treatment to poor people around the world.   We have sent 10 teams of medical volunteers to Bernard Mews since the earthquake.  These teams are working to rebuild the hospital into a trauma center.  They are providing treatment to patients and training to Haitians.
We are also a group of non-medical volunteers dedicated to improve the lives of the orphans of Haiti following the earthquake.  We have sent several teams to these orphanages.  These volunteers have funded and built a school,  started a garden project to provide sustainable food and provided care for the orphans.  We have supplied them with monetary donations for food, education and appliances to help nourish the children.

What are you most proud of?
Through our efforts, Flagstaff is the number four city in the world to send volunteers to Haiti since the earthquake.  We have been ambassadors for our community and Flagstaff is known in Haiti as a city of loving people that have worked hard to improve the lives of hundreds.
Do you have any special events coming up? What are they?
  • On September 15,2012, we are having a golf tournament to raise money to support the two orphanages with which we are working.  We have no administrative costs and all proceeds will go directly to projects at the orphanages overseen by Flagstaff volunteers.
  • In December 2012, our 11th medical team will go to Port-au-Prince to run the hospital for a week.
  • In January 2013, our 5th non-medical team will go to Haiti to work on a construction project at one of the orphanages.

 Are you looking for volunteers?  Monetary or prize donations?
We are looking for sponsors, golfers, monetary donations, silent auction or raffle items for our September 15th event.  Volunteers are always welcome to join us in our trips to Haiti. 
We are always looking for monetary donations to help provide food and supplies to the orphanages.

Website link:

Northern Arizona Medical Corp. Fundraiser

Northern Arizona Medical Corp (NAVMC) was founded in 1991 by Dr. Kelly J. Reber. NAVMC is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 corporation.  We have sent volunteer medical and surgical teams to provide medical care to areas of need throughout the world including trips to Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Cambodia, Armenia, Mongolia and Haiti.  We sent our first team to Haiti in February 2012, shortly after the earthquake struck Haiti killing 300,000 people and injuring 600,000.  We have sent 8 separate teams with a total of about 150 volunteers to work at the Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince.  Flagstaff is the number 4 city in the world to send volunteers to work at the Medishare facility since the time of the earthquake.  Medishare is an organization affiliated with the University of Miami Medical School.  They arrived within 24 hours of the earthquake and set up a tent hospital at the airport in Port-au-Prince.  This tent facility provided medical and surgical care for 200 patients until June 2010 when Medishare moved into a previously running hospital in Port-au-Prince known as Hopital Bernard Mews.  Our last 5 teams have worked at this facility providing nursing, pediatric, emergency care and surgery for the victims of ongoing trauma in Haiti.  Most of the other hospitals in Port-au-Prince were destroyed and have not yet been raised.  Dr John Durhamis currently the Orthopedic Director of the Hospital and trying to help them build an orthopedic surgical department.  This hospital remains the main focus of our medical work presently.   We are supporting them with volunteers who pay their own way to Haiti.  We are also trying to help them develop a trauma hospital.  At present there is no trauma hospital for this city of 2 million people.

 NAVMC is also supporting two orphanages in Port-au-Prince.  In May 2010 NAVMC had a fund raiser at the Orpheum in Flagstaff where we raised about $70,000.  It was our intent to spend this money on the children of Haiti as we feel that Haiti’s hope ultimately lies in her children.  We spent a week traveling through Haiti and picked 3 orphanages that we wanted to support.  We chose them because we knew the money would be well spent.  One of these has since closed.  The other 2 are functioning well.  A portion of the money went to one orphanage to feed the children who were getting at most 1 meal a day and were all malnourished.  We fed them for 6 months, 3 meals per day.  This orphanage eventually shut down.  For another, Renmen orphanage, we purchased a 10 burner stove ( they were feeding 60 children on a single burner device), a washer/drier, a generator and a refrigerator.  For the third, New Life Orphanage, we paid for their schooling for 3 months (very expensive for 100 kids).  We continue to work with these 2 orphanages. 

 The president of NAVMC, Kelly Reber has been to Haiti several times with the medical teams.  He also spearheaded a team of 24 volunteers that in January 2012 built a school for the New Life Orphanage.  This building was financed from local Flagstaff donations and built by a group of our volunteers.  We are making plans to send down a team to rebuild a security wall for the Renmen orphanage in January 2013.  This wall collapsed in the quake and is needed to protect the 55 orphans ages 6 months to 22 years old.  A small group went down in June 2012 to prepare for this large project.  During that trip, we started a garden project and the children are now growing some of their own food.  We are also working with the older children in Renmen to develop a sponsorship program for the kids.  We hope sponsors will eventually help feed and educate each child in Renmen (for about $75 per month).  This program is being designed by the older children in the facility with our support and guidance.  We are also working with the older children in the orphanage to find graduate schools.  Some of the older children will be graduating from High school and could potentially be released out onto the streets where an unknown future awaits them.  We are trying to find graduate education programs for them and hope to be able to fund this for them.  Otherwise, their futures are bleak.  In addition, we are bringing two of these older kids to Flagstaff this summer in order to help them learn English and perhaps eventually to enroll them in Coconino Community College.  It is our goal to help them get and education that will give them gainful employment in Haiti.

 In short, Flagstaff has been in the forefront of Haitian Relief for two years and I think it is important that our town has the opportunity to know of this incredible effort.

Now that you know a bit about NAVMC, we ask you to help support them at their golf tournament Saturday, September 15 at the Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club. More information is available on their website at as well as in the flyer posted below!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Supply Drive: FUSD + Charter Schools!

This year, for the first time, the Flagstaff Chamber is teaming up with Suddenlink, Walmart, Coke, and others to bring a Teacher Supply Drive to our community!

Here's how it works. 

There will be volunteers collecting donated school supplies at the Huntington WalMart Supercenter on the times and dates below. We are going to collect as many supplies as we can get our hands on and then distribute them to FUSD as well as private and public charter schools by the end of September.

The goal is to decrease (or eliminate) the substantial amount that teachers have to pay each year, out of their own pockets, for basic classroom supplies. Most teachers spend at least $500 every year on these supplies. Many are forced to spend more than that.

You can donate supplies outside the WalMart at 2601 E Huntington Drive.

August 10-12 from 10am to 6pm
August 17 from 5 to 9pm
August 18 & 19 from 10am to 6pm

Supplies that we're looking for:
  • Copy paper, white and colored
  • Pencils
  • Ink pens
  • Sticky notes
  • Glue sticks
  • Dry erase markers
  • White out
  • Sharpie pens
  • Tissues

Even if you can't make it to the supply drive, please encourage those you know to participate!

We're encouraging businesses to collect from their employees, vendors, and customers to drop off collected supplies on any of the above dates!

 Looking for more information? Contact Matt at the Chamber 

Aspen Bash!

Due to Flagstaff's monsoon weather, the most recent incarnation of Aspen Bash was postponed until this weekend.

Check out the flyer below for more details and hope the rain holds off for a few hours!

Party is on Regent street from 5-7pm this Saturday July the 28th! Then again August 11 and 25.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paint the Town Red


 It's Back! It's Big! 
Its the 3rd Annual "Paint The Town Red"Contest!
Sponsored by: Findlay Toyota

The "Paint The Town Red" contest is a great way for local businesses in Flagstaff to play a role in welcoming the Arizona Cardinals Football Team's winning spirit. 

Let's welcome our Arizona Cardinals back to town by "Painting The Town Red!" 

Show your Arizona Cardinals spirit by decorating the exterior or interior of your business in a Cardinals inspired fashion and enter the 2012 Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce's "Paint the Town Red" contest! 

Great prizes for the winning businesses include a $350.00 cash prize (1st place), a beach cruiser from AZBikes (2nd place), and a mountain sports watch (3rd place).

Pictures of the contest winners will be included in our monthly Business Matters publication and online at!

The Arizona Cardinals Training Camp starts on Tuesday, July 24th! Start decorating now! Contest entries are being accepted and applications are available at the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce or online at Deadline to register for the contest is Tuesday, July 31st.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Olympics: London Updates

To make sure that you are kept up to date (and as an excuse to watch the Olympics at work), we will be tweeting about the Summer Olympics, from the start of the opening ceremonies all the way through 306 events. Follow us @FlgChamber and stay up to date!

We've got several athletes from Flagstaff competing in London in the coming weeks. 

Diego Estrada - of NAU fame is writing blog posts through NAU Athletics. He will be representing Mexico in the 10,000 meter event. He also tweets: @estradadiego

David McNeill - another NAU Alum, will be competing for Australia in the 5,000 meter event. He's tweeting too! @RunDMC_Neill

Lopez Lomong graduated from NAU in 2007 and will be representing U.S.A. in the 5,000 meter, competing against McNeill. He's an author as well as a tweeter: @lopezlomong 

Identity Theft: Three Things You Should Know

From member and identity theft expert Cynthia Miller at Harvard Risk Mangement

Three things you should know about Identity Theft:
  1.  It is the fasted growing crime in America, every year there are about 10 million people in the United States who become victims of identity theft.
  2.  It’s more than just a financial crime.  When we hear of identity theft, a lot of us think of our credit, bank accounts and credit cards.   The fact is, only 17% of identity theft deals with credit cards and many types of identity theft do not even affect your credit report.  There are actually 5 major types of identity theft: Credit, Driver’s License, Employment, Medical and Minor Children.
  3. It takes about 60 seconds to find out you are a victim of identity theft but about 600 hours to clean up the mess.  Most identity theft products on the market today only provide monitoring services, leaving you to do the hardest and most time consuming part of the process.
Three things you can do to protect yourself:
  •  Review a copy of your current credit report.
  • Make sure you shred “junk mail” or unwanted credit card offers.
  •  Be on a credit monitoring service.
How can Harvard Risk Management help protect me and my family against Identity Theft?
  • We offer Identity Theft Shield provided by Kroll Fraud Solutions Group which is the world’s leading risk consulting company with over 2,800 employees and was founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, a former CIA executive.  We work with their Fraud Solutions Division, which is made up of licensed investigators who specialize in helping people who have been victims of different types of fraud.
  • Our product is unique on a proactive and reactive basis and our members receive exceptional value with the small investment for our product because our plan covers the entire family.  Not only does it help protect your identity but all the work is done on behalf of the member to restore your identity if victimized which is why I believe we have the best product on the market.
  •  We offer individual and discounted group plans.  With our product you can feel secure that your identity is safe but more importantly, if your identity is ever stolen, not only will you be alerted but Kroll licensed investigators will do all the work to restore your identity in all areas of identity theft.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Featured Post: Harvard Risk Management

Length of time you’ve been in business: The Company has been in business for 19 years; however, I just started with them as an independent agent within the last couple of months.

Why did you get into your industry? Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America and I was very concerned about this myself. I think the thieves out there will get smarter and more sophisticated at what they do. I want to be protected and I want to help others protect themselves against this crime that can destroy lives and futures. With our product you can feel secure that your identity is safe. But more importantly, if your identity is ever stolen, not only will you be alerted but Kroll licensed investigators will do all the work to restore your identity in all areas of identity theft.

What is your goal/mission? To help as many people as possible protect themselves and their families against identity theft.

Your specialty – the reason people choose you: Our product is unique on a proactive and reactive basis and our members receive exceptional value with the small investment for our product because our plan covers the entire family. Not only does it help protect your identity but all the work is done on the behalf of the member to restore your identity if victimized. It takes about 60 seconds to find out you have been a victim of identity theft but it takes about 600 hours to clean up the mess…which is why I believe we have the best product on the market.

Your favorite part about doing business in Flagstaff: The variety of people and the unique culture here along with all the outdoor activities!

Who is your favorite local non-profit or charitable organization? Well I am pretty new to Flagstaff, just moved here a couple months ago so I am not yet familiar enough to answer that question. However, making sure people have enough good, nutritious food to eat every day is near and dear to my heart.

Why? Food is our most basic necessity, without it there is no life beyond survival. I believe people should not only survive, but thrive…if I can help with that then I will try to do so.

Do you have any special events coming up? I work with businesses to provide Identity Theft workshops and offer this benefit to the company and their employees. I am open to offering informative talks by appointment.

Are you hiring? The company is always looking for good quality people if anyone is interested and I can provide that contact for you.

Your address and business hours:

I work remotely from my home and go visit businesses. I work mainly Monday through Friday, 8-5 but if someone wants me to meet with me on a weekend or after hours I am happy to accommodate them by appointment. You can reach me at 307-587-6182 or email me at

Learn more on the Harvard Risk Management website:

Mortar & Pestle

On August 6th, Lauren Driebe and Karen Lieb at Mortar & Pestle will be hosting a seminar on the Basics of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Sound complicated? It really isn't too difficult to understand, especially with two great teachers walking you through it. 

Lauren and Karen will discuss the importance of hormone balance, the functions of hormones, the transitions from PMS to perimenopause to menopause. Participants will also learn about the symptoms of hormone deficiency or excess as well as the treatments available!

Sound like your cup of tea?

You bet it does! Act fast - this seminar is limited to only 12 participants. Call to reserve your seat.

August 6
2708 North 4th St.Suite C-2
(928) 526-2446

Friday, July 20, 2012

Interview with Julie

This morning Chamber President Julie Pastrick talked with Arizona’s TV3 reporters about the Arizona Cardinals Training Camp coming to Flagstaff next week.  Hang your banners, decorate your windows, get involved in the Paint the Town Red contest, decorate your marquees with Welcome Home Arizona Cardinals….to your Summer Training Camp.  The Arizona Cardinals training camp has consistently been ranked number one or number two throughout the nation in large part due to the beautiful surroundings on the NAU Campus and due to our extraordinary summer climate.

If you need more information on the Arizona Cardinals training schedule it is available online at Also, if in fact we do have the pleasure of summer rains, the practices move indoors to the NAU Skydome which is also a great fan experience for watching the special teams train and the coaches interact.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Haircuts at JCPenney

find a jcp salon


jcpenney is very focused on Back‐to‐School and on creating shopping experiences unlike anything in retail today.
 All jcp Salons will offer free haircuts to kids during the entire month of August.
We will kick it off with a day devoted entirely to kids on August 1st. Our entire Salon will be dedicated to cutting kids’ hair that day!

Why are we doing this?
We want to help people look and live better, and we think offering the gift of a free haircut to kids during Back‐to‐School is the right thing to do. It is a simple way to say "thank you" to our customers and to help families who may be stretched in getting their kids ready for back‐to ‐school.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paint the Town Red

Please help us welcome our Arizona Cardinals back to their summer home by “Painting The
Town Red.” The Arizona Cardinals Football Club will return to Flagstaff Tuesday, July 24th to begin their 2012 NFL Training Camp. The “Paint The Town Red” contest is an opportunity for your business to welcome the Arizona Cardinals back by decorating your business with Arizona Cardinals red and white colors, logos, and memorabilia.

Enter the 2012 Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce’s “Paint The Town Red” contest and decorate your business or organization in Cardinals spirit. Please complete the application and return promptly to the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. Deadline to register for the contest is Tuesday, July 31st. Judging of the contest displays will take place the week of August 13th. Winners and prizes will be announced the week of
August 27th.

Sign-A-Rama, winner of the exterior contest in 2009

Monday, July 16, 2012


One thing we hear from a lot of employers these days is that the generation that is entering the workforce has some seriously skewed entitlement expectations.

We found this video through a conference with member TelTech Networks Inc. Watch this video, and show it to your employees!

Employees and employers must both understand expectations. Communication is key.

Free Business Counseling

     The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce and SCORE partner together to provide free and confidential business counseling! Come meet with experienced business advisers for one on one consulting and training to better help your business succeed. SCORE's volunteer business advisers are successful entrepreneurs who want to share their business knowledge with you and provide opinions on business concerns.
      Take this opportunity to learn about ways to improve your business on Friday, July 20th from 10am to 2pm. Counseling will be in one hour sessions and take place in the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce board room. Sign up today for a one hour time slot by contacting the Chamber at (928)-774-4505. Follow more Chamber business events by going to our website:


Interview with Flagstaff Police Chief, Kevin Treadway

Last month, Chamber President and CEO, Julie Pastrick got together with Kevin Treadway for an interview. Mr. Treadway is the new Chief of Police for Flagstaff PD and had some great things to say.

Click here or the picture below to listen to the interview!

Monday, July 9, 2012

This year's 4th of July Parade!

The following video created by Theresa Stacy-Ryan, showcasing our awesome Parade!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated and made this event possible!

Until next year...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot Dog Eating Contest: EPIC WIN!

The first annual hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July was a raging success!

Don't just take our word for it - watch this epic trailer, produced and directed by Christie Sym.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Featured Post: Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

Length of time you’ve been in business: We (JRI Management) took over the store in October of 2011

Your specialty – the reason people choose you: Cook to order! Your food is never “waiting” for you to order. We cook your food only after you place your order so you can order it the way YOU want it. If you want fries with no salt – that’s how you’ll get them.

Your favorite part about doing business in Flagstaff: Great sense of community and inclusion. Plus I feel fairly safe riding my bike to the store!

Who is your favorite local non-profit or charitable organization? Why? The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association of Flagstaff, Inc, and associated organizations and initiatives (such as Weed & Seed, Chess Club at Killup Elementary, and so on). This group is not letting anything stop them from becoming the kind of neighborhood they want, despite previous issues in the area.

Do you have any special events coming up? What are they?

  • We are dedicating two Monday nights per month, 5pm to 8pm, to fundraisers for FUSD schools and associated organizations, as soon as school starts.
  • Wednesday, July 11, from 5:30 to 7:30, we will be providing the meat for the annual Sunnyside community BBQ, in Ponderosa Park.
  • Tuesday, July 17th, from 5pm to 8pm, 15% of all sales will go to the Flagstaff high School Advanced Academy
Are you hiring? We are always looking for qualified individuals from cook to managers. However, we also want employees who are outgoing. When a customer walks in the door we want to welcome them as the first step in the customer’s positive experience.

Your address and business hours:
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

2675 S Beulah Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Monday through Sunday, 10:30am to 11pm except during the school year when we are open until 10pm except Fridays and Saturdays when we stay open until 11pm.

Learn more at

Teacher Supply Drive

Did you know that teachers are frequently required to purchase basic classroom supplies out of pocket? We think that is ridiculous, so we've teamed up with Walmart, Suddenlink, and Grenax to create a Teacher Supply Drive.

Supplies will be distributed to teachers for the start of the Fall semester, saving teachers money and ensuring quality supplies for our students!

Aspen Bash Summer Concert Series

Aspen Place at the Sawmill is putting on the Aspen Bash Summer Concert Series this summer.

Check it out:

Join us for great summer music!
Isrobel, Summit Dub Squad, Buckit, Fight the Quiet, Flight of Ryan

Monday, July 2, 2012

Navajo Code Talkers

The Flagstaff Chamber announced last month that we were honored to have two Navajo Code Talkers as the Grand Marshalls for our Arizona Centennial 4th of July Parade.

For those that don't know much about code talkers, or the crucial role they played in World War II, below is an excerpt about Sidney Bedoni, one of the last living Code Talkers.

“Mr. Sidney Bedoni -- Navajo Code Talker, U.S.
Marine Corps and Army Veteran, and Proud American”

At 85 years of age, Mr. Sidney Bedoni is one of a dwindling few still left of a unique group of U.S. Marines that played a crucial role in World War II- the Navajo Code Talkers. Mr. Bedoni proudly served his country as a Navajo Code Talker in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1946.

He, along with other young men from the Navajo reservations in Arizona, helped outwit one of the most sophisticated war machines in the world – the Japanese military – and may have communicated in the only truly unbreakable code in the history of warfare. Mr. Bedoni was one of the youngest Navajos to go into service with the U.S. Marines as
a Code Talker in World War II.

Mr. Bedoni was only fifteen years old when he joined the Marine Corps – three years earlier than the standard age of eighteen years. At the time of his enlistment in October 1942, he was attending boarding school in Tuba City, AZ. He kept hearing news about the war and how the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Both his father and grandfather (who raised Mr. Bedoni after the death of his mother) impressed upon him the importance of protecting Our Mother Earth. Mr. Bedoni knew this was his calling in life to
join the War and serve his country. As a result, he was eager to enlist, and hitchhiked 80 miles from Tuba City to his home in Navajo Mountain, UT, to get the approval of his father. With the approval of his father, and assistance by the recruiter, Mr. Bedoni enlisted.

Mr. Bedoni learned the Navajo code while in boot camp with the Marines at Camp Elliot in San Diego County, where he also received training as a radio operator. He was Radio Operator #776, and Code Talker #643. Mr. Bedoni was a member of the 2nd Group of Navajo Code Talkers that underwent training with the US Marine Corps.

The Navajo Code used in World War II was so difficult to break because it assigned words in their native language to various terms used in the military. Navajo language has a word for things such as airplane, tank, ship, and fighter pilot, and under the Code, airplanes were given Navajo names for birds. For example, a “dive bomber” was called a “Gini”, their word for Sparrow Hawk, or a bomb was called “A-ye-shi”, their word for eggs. Eventually, the Code included about 600 words.

In addition to the assigned terms, the Navajo Code included the alphabet. They took the English letter, thought of something that started with that letter, and then used the Navajo word for that object. For example, for the letter “A:, they chose “ant, for which the Navajo word is “wol-a-chee”, and for the letter “B”, they chose the word “bear”, which is “shush”. Using this code, it was possible to communicate by spelling out names of locations or other information. The Code was so sophisticated it was never broken by
the Japanese. Furthermore, because of the top-secret nature of the Code, it was put to memory by all of the Code Talkers so there was no risk of a handbook falling into enemy hands.

After Mr. Bedoni’s training with the Navajo Code in boot camp, he departed for the South Pacific where he served in numerous regions until 1946. Mr. Bedoni served in the 2nd, 4th and 5th Marine Corps Divisions.

His service in WW II began with deployment to New Caledonia from November 1942 to February 1943. At New Caledonia Mr. Bedoni received training in the 1st Parachute Regiment. He next fought in the British Solomon Islands, where he was involved in the Battle of Bougainville in November 1943.

In addition to the above-mentioned locations, a few of the many sites Mr. Bedoni saw action in World War II were: Saipan, Vella Lavella Island, Okinawa, and Guadalcanal. He also saw duty in the Hawaiian Islands near the end of World War II.

For years, Lena Bedoni, Sidney’s wife, whom he married in 1952, did not know what he had done during World War II. The Code Talkers program remained classified until 1968 due to the fact that the Code may have been needed in other military operations.

Nearly 25 years after the end of World War II, the Navajo Code Talkers finally began to receive national recognition and the veil of secrecy was lifted.

Mr. Bedoni earned a rank of Private First Class while in active duty, but was promoted to Sergeant Major in 1988 because of his outstanding record of military service – more than three decades after his active military service ended.

On July 26, 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers received national recognition from President George W. Bush in a ceremony held at the Capital in Washington, DC. In that ceremony, 24 Native Americans received the highest military distinction of all, the Medal of Honor. This award was given to those surviving members of the original 1st Group of Navajo Code Talkers. During that ceremony, President Bush stated: “In war, using their native language, they relayed secret messages that turned the course of battle. At home, they carried for decades the secret of their own heroism. Today, we give these exceptional Marines the recognition they earned so long ago”. President Bush went on to say: “Today, we mark a moment of shared history and shard victory. We recall a story that all Americans can celebrate, and every American should know. It is a story of ancient people, called to serve in a modern war. It is a story of one unbreakable oral code of the Second World War, messages traveling by field radio on Iow Jima in the very language heard across the Colorado plateau centuries ago”.

After that initial ceremony in Washington D.C in July 2001, recognition of Mr. Bedoni’s service as a Navajo Code Talker came several months later. On November 24, 2001, Mr. Bedoni was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Window Rock, AZ. Mr. Bedoni considers this award the most prestigious honor he has ever received.

In addition to his military service during World War II, Mr. Bedoni also was in the 8th Army during the Korean War for four years. In the Korean War, Mr. Bedoni served as part of the peace-keeping forces. During his U.S. Army service, Mr. Bedoni was awarded the Korean Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Mr. Bedoni was discharged honorably from the Army on October 23, 1952, at Fort Ord, CA.

Following his military service in the Army in the Korean War, Mr. Bedoni worked as a civil service employee at the Navajo Army Depot in Bellmont, AZ, just outside of Flagstaff, for 35 years. This position at the Navajo Army Depot was an Explosives Operator. Later, Mr. Bedoni worked in the same capacity at the facility for the State of Arizona before officially retiring in August 1988.

Mr. Bedoni was born March 10, 1927 in Navajo Mountain, UT. Mr. Bedoni met his wife (Lena) during the war at Fort Defiance, AZ, and has been happily married to Lena since 1952. They have four children (Virginia Ann, Darrell Patrick, Emerson Clark and Norma Jean), eight grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. Mr. Bedoni and his wife Lena live in White Cone, AZ on the Navajo Reservation, and also spend time with their family in Mesa, AZ.

Here's a song about the Code Talkers