Segment 11


On January 13th, 1997 Baker flew to Washington D.C. with his family. They went into the East Room of the White House and on the way there he saw a buffet of food and he was very hungry. Baker describes the ceremony of receiving the Medal of Honor. General Colin Powell was in the audience. He sat on the stage with family members of those awarded the Medal posthumously. Then the President [Annotator's Note: President Bill Clinton] read the citation. At the time we was wondering why he was singled out for this award. He was happy and overwhelmed. It was emotional. Baker wished that there were 19 men that had died that could be there with him. He thinks they're the ones that should have been there. Baker states that when you're in a life and death situation with people you depend on - and they depend on you, you become close. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about those guys. When Baker wears the Medal of Honor, he thinks of the 19 souls that gave their lives for it. If not for them he wouldn't be here himself. Baker was angry when he heard he was awarded the Medal. He doesn't understand why if the deeds were performed back then that he wasn't recognized then, but it goes to show America has grown up. He's not angry anymore.


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