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Navajo Code Talker Nelson Draper Sr. dies

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- Flags are flying at half-staff across the Navajo Nation in honor of a Navajo Code Talker.

Tribal officials said Nelson Draper Sr. died early Sunday morning at his home in Barstow, Calif. He was 96.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has ordered flags to be lowered across the reservation through Monday in Draper's honor.

Shelly called Draper a modern-day hero whose deeds brought great pride to the Navajo Nation. Hundreds of Navajos used a code developed from their native language that confounded the Japanese during World War II.

Draper received the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001 for his role as a Navajo Code Talker.

Funeral services are scheduled Friday in Barstow.

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