Ft. Jackson training center named for MOH recipient

Ft. Jackson training center named for MOH recipient

FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - A brisk October wind may have sent chills through the crowd, but Monday's ceremony at Fort Jackson warmed the heart of Donnell Baker.

The widow of the late Master Sergeant John Baker helped the Army unveil a metal plaque near the entrance of the Drill Sergeant Academy building on Pickens Avenue.

It pays tribute to the Vietnam-era hero and Medal of Honor recipient who died in January 2012.

The Iowa native and former northeast Columbia resident earned the nation's highest military honor in 1968. The Army noting that when Baker was on patrol with Company A near Dau Tieng in 1966, the unit was attacked by intense enemy fire.

As the Americans fought back, Baker saved the lives of eight fellow soldiers, destroying six Viet Cong machine gun bunkers and killing ten enemy soldiers in the process.

After Baker returned to the U.S., he became a drill sergeant at Fort Jackson. Donnell Baker says her husband was a quiet, private person but would have been proud of the tribute.

She says Sgt. Baker always tried to stay in touch with what was happening on the post and while representing the Army during his travels.

"He always said that the medal he wore was really for his comrades and brothers," Baker told reporters.

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