Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Hero Turns 90!

Vernon Baker of St. Maries earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in WWII in 1945, although it was not officially presented until 1997. Mr. Baker turns 90 on Dec. 17, the only living African American Medal of Honor recipient of the "greatest generation." He's also the last surviving member of the Army's segregated Buffalo Soldiers Brigade. In honor of his service and courage, Governor Butch Otter has proclaimed December 17 as "Vernon J. Baker Day."
I had the distinct privilege of meeting Mr. Baker at an event earlier this year. What a humble and delightful man. Like most of his era, he's a bit uncomfortable with the hero description, the memories of his fellow soldiers who didn't return from war always at the forefront of any conversation about his experience.
What a pleasure to recognize Vernon Baker in this week's Main Street Birthday Club!
Press story about Mr. Baker's birthday party HERE.

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