Veteran Shares Inspirational Story With Students

Retired Army Col. Rudy Baker presents the book he co-authored, titled “The Boys of Benning,” to students in the South Johnston High US Air Force JROTC program on Wednesday.

Retired Army veteran Rudy Baker is donating the book he co-authored, titled “The Boys of Benning,” to every Johnston County public high school.

Baker requested to donate the book through the JROTC detachment or program at each high school.

The Boys of Benning tells stories from the lives of 14 Infantry OCS Class 2-62 Graduates. The book is a compilation of stories from the Vietnam generation that tell of exemplary leadership, in and out of the Army, as well as valuable lessons for those who aspire excellence.

“I hope these students learn self discipline, and I hope they learn from some of the mistakes that we made,” said retired Army Col. Rudy Baker. “I hope they learn to find a good job that they enjoy, and to help other people. There’s a lot of that in this book.”

In addition to donating the book, Baker spent time with the JROTC students at each school. He spoke to the students about his career in the military, and answered any questions they had. Baker encouraged each student to pursue higher education and to ultimately work a job that they love.

“I hope to be an example for these students,” said Baker. “They are the next great generation.”

“As a member of JROTC it means a lot to me and my peers to have Mr. Baker come speak, because he’s a role model.” said James Biggs, Cadet Chief Master Sgt. of the South Johnston High US Air Force JROTC. “He’s done so much for our country and everyone in his life, and that’s why we strive to do what we do.”

The book will be added to all of the high school media centers and will be available to read for all students.

“Newer generations are starting to not appreciate literature and the lessons learned through history,” said Biggs. “I hope this book can inspire students, teach them lessons, and change them in a positive way.”

In addition to South Johnston High, Baker has already donated a copy of his book to West Johnston High. He plans to visit the rest of the high schools later this month.