Special reunion for Vietnam veterans

Thirteen veterans were part of a surprise reunion at Patriots Landing in Williamstown, Ky., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 9:17 PM EDT
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WXIX) - A group of Vietnam veterans got a surprise reunion thanks to the Williamstown community.

For Dan Baker, it was among the best surprises of his life.

A Navy firefighter, Baker, served on the USS John F. Kennedy during the Vietnam War.

He was part of a surprise reunion that included him and 12 of his fellow shipmates on Aug. 19.

The event was held at Patrots Landingin in Williamstown. It included a parade with Williamstown police and other veterans.

“It’s just an unbelievable show of love from the community for us,” Baker said.

Baker stressed the role his fellow shipmates played in his life, and how staying connected had been vital.

“We served together 50 years ago as boys and then we turned into men and then into brothers,” Baker said.

Baker said his ship saw heavy action during the war. He recalled putting out fires, including once when the ship was involved in a collision.

“We were firefighters,” Baker said. “(We) had to save the ship. Many times, we saved each other. If I had to go tomorrow, I’d do it again.”

He said a couple of shipmates died during the war.

The reunion at Williamstown gave him the opportunity to share stories with his fellow vets, make new ones, and keep their brotherhood alive.

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