FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) – A Baldwin County family is making a heart-felt request to honor a local Vietnam Veteran, who because of coronavirus restrictions, won’t get a burial with full military honors, which was one of his final wishes.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ernie Baker died Monday, and his family is hoping people will line his procession route Thursday morning, waving American flags to help honor him.
Baker’s procession will depart from the northern tip of Foley at 9 a.m. and go north up Hwy. 59 to Loxley. It’ll then take I-10 west to Alabama Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Spanish Fort.
“What a perfect time to honor one of our veterans,” Summerdale resident, Robyn Horne said. She and her husband Jason hung a large flag at their business Black Dog Garage off Hwy. 59 on Wednesday night.
Baker became well-known around Baldwin County in the years after he retired from the Air Force. FOX10 News spoke with his daughter on the phone, who said Baker began contributing to, and even designed several memorials around the county. His family is hoping he’ll be able to get a service with full military honors eventually, but for now, lining his procession route with American flags, is a great way to thank him.
“With everything going on right now, to be able to reach out and help everybody, [it] reminds us that we are still a community and that we have to support each other,” Horne, whose own father was a Veteran, said.
Master Sgt. Ernie Baker was 82-years-old. You can read his full obituary by clicking here.
You are urged to continue following social distancing guidelines if you wish to line Baker’s procession route Thursday morning.