This is a topic which is very dear and close to my heart.
As a retired physician, I fully understand the process, the need for treatment, the underlying medical conditions and the meaning of life-saving treatment.
On the other hand, my only brother died of complications of chronic renal failure several years ago. In the aftermath of Hurricane María, I often thought about him and how he would manage to receive this three times a week treatment when the electrical power situation and the hospital care was so lacking in my country.
One year after Hurricane María, Puerto Ricans living in Vieques, go through harrowing, uncomfortable, tiring, exhausting and dangerous ways to receive their treatment.
This video explains their situation.
An American possession with this ‘quality of care’?
In medicine, dialysis is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally.
This is referred to as renal replacement therapy.
Dialysis Patients Are Still Trekking 12 Hours for Care After Hurricane María Left without a hospital, some Puerto Ricans must travel by plane for lifesaving treatment
Hurricane María totaled Vieques’s hospital, which housed the island’s only dialysis clinic
That set off an ongoing crisis for patients with kidney failure who cannot survive without dialysis and for whom the thrice-weekly round trip to a dialysis center in Humacao on Puerto Rico’s main island, including treatment, takes at least 12 hours.
The topic of a “code talker” needs a post of its own. It’s a very interesting one, deserving of full research, information and presentation. Of this, I am aware. Soon I will prepare a post about it.
I find it fascinating.
~~WHAT IS A CODE TALKER?~~
Code talkers were people who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime. The term is now usually associated with the United States soldiers during the world wars who used their knowledge of Native-American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. In particular, there were approximately 400–500 Native Americans in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service improved communications in terms of speed of encryption at both ends in front line operations during World War II.
The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Cherokee and Choctaw Indians during World War I.
Marines during World War II in areas where other Basque speakers were not expected to be operating.
~~TODAY I WISH TO HONOR THE LAST ONE LIVING~~
He had never seen an ocean before enlisting in 1942, a few months after Pearl Harbor.
He had herded sheep with a slingshot.
At 122 pounds in 10th grade, he barely met the minimum weight requirement for the Marines. But his thin frame — and, after an impoverished childhood on a reservation, healthy appetite — was a plus on a boat approaching Guadalcanal.
“I liked the smell in the galley area, although lots of Marines complained about it,” he wrote later. “I guess I’ll always be drawn to the aroma of cooking food, after spending my early years in boarding schools where I was never able to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, or as much as I wanted.”
But Chester Nez would help design a code based on Navajo that proved invaluable in the Pacific theater during World War II.
Born in 1921, Nez grew up on “the Checkerboard” — an area near the Navajo reservation that crosses the borders of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Chester Nez, who was the last living member of the Navajo code talkers during World War II, passed away this past Wednesday, June 4, at age 93. Nez was one of 29 of the original Navajo who were recruited into the United States Marine Corps in 1942 to aid the U.S. in communications during battle.
Nez was born in Chi Chil Tah, New Mexico, to the Navajo Dibéłizhiní (Black Sheep Clan) for Tsénahabiłnii (Sleeping Rock People). He was raised during a time when there were difficult relations between the U.S. government and the Navajo Nation. Nez recalled children often being taken from reservations, sent to boarding schools, and told to not speak the Navajo language. It was from one of the schools, in Tuba City, Arizona, that Nez was recruited into the Marine Corps.
Nez kept his decision to enlist from his family and lied about his age to meet enlistment requirements. He was assigned to the 382nd Infantry Regiment at Camp Pendleton, where he and 28 other Navajo were tasked with creating a code for communications during WWII. The Navajo language was chosen because its syntax and tonal qualities were nearly impossible for a non-Navajo to learn, and it had no written form. Nez stated the developers used everyday words, in order to easily memorize and retain them. In 1942, he was among the code talkers to be shipped out to Guadalcanal, where they worked in teams of two—one to send and receive, the other to operate the radio and listen for errors. Nez also fought in Bougainville, Guam, Angaur and Peleliu.
From 1946 to 1952, Nez attended the University of Kansas (KU) to study commercial arts. Following his military service, he worked as a painter for 25 years at a V.A. hospital in Albuquerque. In 2011, he wrote the memoir Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII with Judith Avila. In November 2012, he received a bachelor of fine arts degree from KU.
“Today, we marked a moment of shared history and shared victory. We recall a story that all Americans can celebrate and every America 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 travelling by field radio on Iwo Jima in the very language heard across the Colorado plateau centuries ago.” — President George W. Bush
The last original Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez talked to Stars and Stripes while he was in Washington, D.C., to accept the Audie Murphy Award. Nez shares his story, and what it was like growing up as a Native American.