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Baker recalls his time in Vietnam

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(Editor's Note: This is the second of a series of profiles of area individuals who served in the Vietnam War, leading up to when the Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., will come to the Gas-Lite Park in the Town of Trimbelle Sept. 20-24.)

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The decision William Baker faced was an easy one he thought.

Baker knew his chances of serving in the military during the Vietnam War were good, so it was either going to be by choice or because he was forced to.

So on December 11, 1966, Baker became a member of the Navy.

"It was better than being drafted," the rural Ellsworth resident said. "Because I knew I'd be a grunt.

"My uncle served in the Navy during World War II so that led to my decision."

After completing Boot Camp in San Diego, Baker then moved on two years of shore duty in Miramar, California (a.k.a. Fightertown U.S.A.) and then went to A School in New Jersey for sea duty.

Baker recalls some of the most frightening times throughout his whole Vietnam experience at A School. For example, jumping out of a plane for the first time and pulling the rip cord at 3,000 feet.

"It was a real good experience because it tested your skills," he said.

For more read the September 12 print version of the Herald.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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