Grand Portage veteran Lex Porter to be posthumously honored for service as Military Code Talker

The American military’s first reported use of Native American code talkers dates back to October 1918.  On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 33 tribes from around the country will be recognized and more than 200 silver medals will be presented to individual code talkers and the families of those deceased. Among those honored is the family of Lex Porter of Grand Portage.

Lex Porter will be posthumously honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor in a ceremony in Washington, DC. for his service as a Military Code Talker. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor for an individual serving in our Armed Forces. 

 The ceremony, to be held in Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center, will honor tribal members' service in the U.S. military as Code Talkers in World War I and World War II. Code talkers used their native language to create secure, secret communications that enemies could not decode, ultimately saving their comrades’ lives. Code talkers were sworn to secrecy and many of them kept the secret of their participation until they died.

Porter family members are travelling to Washington, DC for the occasion.

People unable to travel can view the ceremony online at

 Also, the ceremony will be broadcast locally at the Heritage Center at Grand Portage National Monument, on the big movie screen. The ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.