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Marine vet honored with award

posted Jun 10, 2013, 12:48 PM by Greg Hamper
Marine vet honored with awardBy STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.comStaff Writer

Jack Baker sat in awe and disbelief Sunday after receiving a very prestigious award for his contributions to the community.

Baker was the recipient of the Chapel of Four Chaplans Legion of Honor Award.

The award was established to recognize and encourage acts of volunteerism, brotherhood and sacrifice among Americans of every age and station of life. The Legion of Honor Award is given in recognition of exceptional selfless service on the part of an individual who contributes to the well-being of his or her community and to a spirit of interfaith cooperation.

When World War II broke out, Baker dropped out of school, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country. Following several Pacific Theater campaigns, Baker left the Marine Corps, completed high school and college and worked as a teacher and coach for 35 years in Indiana.

Baker moved to Ohio after he retired and joined the Private Henry Kalinowski Detachment #782 of the Marine Corps League in Ashtabula County. He has served as commandant and spent countless hours working on fundraising efforts including the Toys-for-Tots program.

Baker was a member of the color guard, rifle detail, Eagle Scout program and funeral service director for the league and remains very active volunteering for whatever is needed. He was the recipient of the Marine Corps League’s Marine of the Year  award as well as the Devil Dog of the Year award. For the past 10 years, he has only missed three league meetings.

One of his most notable efforts is that of the Ashtabula County Young Marines. Baker is one of the charter staff members, serving as the executive officer and commander of the unit.

At the age of 87, he is still greatly involved as the counselor and recruit instructor for the program.

Baker has served more than 65 years volunteering in many capacities.

Baker said the greatest honor for him is being able to work with the Young Marines and watch them grow into upstanding citizens.