|Navajo Code Talker Dan Akee turns 94 on Veteran's Day 2015. Wife Margaret looks on.|
“I am very happy that all Navajos should be very proud of us because their language has been used … The whole United States were very proud of us. It took 25 years till it was released -- until we could start talking about the Code Talkers. I am very happy a lot of people respect me," said Dan Akee in an exclusive Vagabonding Lulu interview. He was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor awarded to service men and women.
|Congressional Medal of Honor in the hands of 94-year-old veteran and Navajo Code Talker|
"When we heard about Navajo code talker Dan Akee, we knew we had to do something quick," said Mark Hall, Executive Director of Red Feather Development Group in a press release. "We are thrilled in how the Veterans and the entire community is responding, it’s beautiful."
"All I want to do before I die, is live in the house I built with my own hands 60 years ago," said Dan Akee to his son Danny Akee who is his caretaker. Dan Akee is in a wheelchair full time and was recently hospitalized for pneumonia.
|Akee family home in Tuba City, AZ, is in need of renovation.|
happening for his father, a national hero, his hero.
|Danny Akee, son of WWII Code Talker in home that needs renovation.|
Red Feather is sponsoring a crowdfunding campaign on Generosity.com, one of the Indiegogo sites to enlist thousands who care about Veterans to help raise $70,000. When significant donations are made, donors will receive original Akee family Navajo sand paintings as a thank you gift. Danny Akee and his wife Marie are already in production at their art studio next door to the house that is being renovated.
|Danny's wife, Marie Akee creates traditional sand paintings for donors.|
"We are approaching the renovation in a four-phased approach," Joe Seidenberg, Program Manager for Red Feather noted. "We are starting with the most critical items first like the roof, windows and doors and working our way up from there. Please call us if you have access to materials or labor, this is going to take everyone coming together to pull this off."
Red Feather has planned a bathroom and kitchen renovation that will allow veteran Dan Akee full handicap access along with wheelchair access ramp to the house. A kickoff work party was held Saturday, November 7. Over 30 volunteers from the surrounding community came out last Saturday to begin preparing the house for renovation. The work party included President of the Navajo Nation, Russell Begaye, Vice President Jonathan Nez and some of their staff, numerous local veterans, staff from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and members of the Akee family. The goal is to have the Akee’s home completed for Christmas.
3 WAYS TO GIVE TO THE DAN AKEE 'GOING HOME' RED FEATHER RENOVATION PROJECT:
- Go to the Red Feather Development Group website and donate directly at www.redfeather.org
- Go to Indigogo and contribute to the Dan Akee Going Home crowd funder
- Call Red Feather Development Group in Flagstaff, AZ at 928-440-5119 and let us knowwhat in-kind donation you would like to make or if you have a volunteer organization that can provide renovation labor.
Crowdfunding Address: https://www.generosity.com/fundraisers/dan-akee-navajo--talker-go-project/x/12666800For more information:
Red Feather Development Group, a non-profit organization
2501 N. 4th Street, Suite 17, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Norena Gutierrez, Director of Development & Communications
Stacey Wittig is "Vagabonding Lulu" who searches the world for interesting stories. Read about her most recent book, Spiritual and Walking Guide: Leon to Santiago on Camino on Amazon.