Idaho governor proclaims day in veteran's honor - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho governor proclaims day in veteran's honor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho. - Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says Thursday is "Vernon J. Baker Day" in honor of the only living African-American Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
     
Baker, who lives in St. Maries and served for eight years on Idaho's Human Rights Commission, turns 90 on Thursday.
     
He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997 for leading a two-day assault in 1945 against an Italian mountain stronghold occupied by German soldiers. The stronghold was secured for American forces.
     
The Spokesman-Review reports that Otter says Baker's valor and sacrifice helped preserve Americans' freedoms, and Idaho is grateful and humbled by his civic virtue.
     
Baker, who served in the Buffalo Soldiers unit, the first all-black unit to see combat in WWII, holds several other medals, including a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross.

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