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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2023

Wisconsin World War II veteran receives special Army Reserve visitors

By Christopher Hanson 88th Readiness Division

World War II and U.S. Army veteran retired Lt. Col. Harry Baker received some very special visitors on Aug. 8, 2023, at his home in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Baker and his son, Scott welcomed Maj. Gen. Matthew Baker (no relation), commander of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 88th Readiness Division, Maj. Gen. Ernest Litynski, commander of the 76th Operational Response Command, 88th RD Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Betty, and 76th ORC Command Sgt. Maj. Diana Anzaldua. The two command teams were visiting on behalf of the United States Army Reserve to wish Baker an early happy 103rd birthday, which will be on Oct. 9.

However, the visitors would be quick to note that Harry Baker was the main attraction and the special guest they traveled to meet.

Baker’s military career has ties to both the 88th Readiness Division and the 76th Operational Readiness Command. At the height of World War II in the fall of 1944, he was assigned to the 76th Infantry Division, predecessor to the 76th ORC, and trained at then-Camp McCoy, Wis. to prepare to deploy to Europe to fight against Nazi Germany. Maj. Gen. Matthew Baker, as the commander of the 88th Readiness Division, is also the senior commander for Fort McCoy.

The group met for nearly an hour, with the leaders listening to his stories, and Harry Baker asking many questions. Public affairs representatives from U.S. Army Reserve Command and the 88th RD were on hand to record the event for Veterans Day in November.

Baker was presented with several items, including commanders’ coins, and a signed certificate of appreciation as a Soldier for Life from Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General of U.S. Army Reserve Command. He also received from the 76th ORC a canvas print map of Europe that highlighted the 76th Infantry Division’s different campaigns during World War II. Harry Baker fought in many of these battles, including the famed Battle of the Bulge before the war would conclude. He was there until the war ended in August 1945.

Keep an eye out for the Veterans Day video honoring LTC (Ret.) Harry Baker coming in November to U.S. Army Reserve digital media platforms.
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, Wis. is collecting birthday cards until September 18 to send to Baker for his 103rd birthday.

If you are interested in helping out, send Harry birthday wishes to:
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Attention: Lt. Col. Baker’s Birthday
30 West Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703

To read more on his story, click here: