Navajo Code Talker Fleming Begaye Sr. died Friday morning at his home in Chinle, Arizona, according to a Navajo Nation press release.
Begaye was 97.
Begaye served in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 and fought at the battles of Tarawa and Tinian, according to the release. After the war, he operated a trading post in Chinle called Begaye's Corner, and raised three children. His wife, Helen, died in 2008.
Begaye and two other Code Talkers were recognized by President Trump at the White House in November of 2017.
“The Navajo Nation has lost another brave and selfless Diné warrior, who sacrificed more than we’ll ever know to defend our country,” Navajo Nation President, Jonathan Nez wrote. “We offer our heartfelt appreciation to the family for sharing his life with us. May the Creator bless you and your family with strength and comfort.”
There are currently seven surviving Navajo Code talkers.