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Posts tagged: Heidy Baker

Hammes: Feds Hound Hero’s Widow

In this Jan. 13, 1997, SR file photo, President Clinton and Sandra Johnson applaud after after Vernon Baker received The Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. Now the feds want Baker's in-laws to return to Germany from St. Maries, where they are caring for his widow, Heidy.

Immigration can't reform soon enough for Heidy Baker, widow of the late American Medal of Honor winner Vernon Baker of St. Maries. She's elderly now & needs care. But the feds want her immigrant daughter & grandson to vamoose. Publisher Dan Hammes of the St. Maries Gazette Record tells of Heidi's plight:

Before Vernon Baker succumbed to cancer, Heidy’s daughter came to the U.S. from Germany with her son to help her mother care for her ailing husband. She has lived with her mother since. She hopes to continue to live here because Heidy, who is now alone, needs help. The U.S. government does not see it that way. It prefers that Heidy’s daughter leave. She is, after all, an immigrant. … Now it is true that the people at immigration have worked with Heidy. They have been professional and polite by all acounts. But what she really would prefer to have a permanent resolution to the problem and to live knowing her daughter and grandson can be with her. One would think this would be an easy problem for a member of Congress to remedy. Apparently not. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo of Heidy Baker, center, at husband Vernon's 2010 funeral service)

Question: Shouldn't Idaho's congressional delegation be involved in helping this widow of an American hero?

Vernon J. Baker Boulevard

COEUR d'ALENE - Vernon Baker's name is now firmly etched into the Kootenai County landscape.

County commissioners on Tuesday officially named a new road north of Hayden after Baker, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and World War II veteran who lived in St. Maries until his death in July.

Baker's widow, Heidy Baker, was thrilled to hear the news.

“Oh, I can't believe it. That is such an honor,” she told The Press by telephone from her home in St. Maries. “This is absolutely wonderful. I thank everyone who was involved. I thank everyone for this.”  More here. Maureen Donlan/Cda Press

Who would you like to see a local road named after?

White House Denies Hero’s Family Tour

On Friday, the family of Vernon Baker — who was the only living black WWII veteran to receive the Medal of Honor — laid their beloved husband, father and grandfather to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The following day they were denied a tour of the White House, an experience Mr. Baker’s widow, Heidy, described as “ridiculous” and “hurtful.” The reason, according to Mrs. Baker, was because her 10-year-old grandson, Vernon Pawlik, was not appropriately dressed. That morning, Mrs. Baker said her grandson chose to honor his late grandfather by wearing a new white t-shirt with the national war hero’s photograph, signature and the words, “Lt. Vernon J. Baker n Medal of Honor.” That t-shirt proved enough for Vernon to be denied access by a member of the White House staff/Chris D’Angelo, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here. (Related: Baker’s roof leaks no more)

  • Cutline (& photo from Chris D’Angelo, St. Maries Gazette-Record): Vernon Baker’s widow, Heidy, stands with her daughter, Alexandra Pawlik, and grandson, Vernon Pawlik, in front of the family house in the Benewah Valley.

Question: Are you kidding me?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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