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Fifty Years After Vietnam War, Sand Springs Pastor, Veteran Honored

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SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -

It took 50 years but a Sand Springs pastor finally got his medals and recognition for serving in the Vietnam War.

A special ceremony was held Sunday afternoon at Garden Heights Freewill Baptist Church on Summit Road.  Pastor Doyle Baker spent a year fighting in the Vietnam War and like many Vietnam vets, he never got a hero's welcome.

"We would have all liked to have had a ticker-tape parade down New York Boulevard and all that, but that didn't happen," said Pastor Doyle Baker.

Fifty years later, Pastor Baker got the next best thing.  After his church service he walked into a surprise ceremony.  Sand Spring's mayor and state representative presented him with city and state proclamations, honoring him for his service.  They also gave him the seven medals he earned during the war.

Pastor Baker's daughter - Dana - started researching back in October, tracking down the medals and planning this ceremony.

"I wrote letters, I wrote essays, I reached out to the Veterans Association and to the army base, trying to find out what all my dad was entitled to so that I could have a day of honoring him," said Dana Patrick. 

After the ceremony, the congregation lined up to congratulate and hug their beloved pastor. 

"Love my daddy, he's my hero. God bless him, and thank you for everything you've done for me, Daddy," said Dana Patrick.

Pastor Baker will be attending an honor flight to Washington D.C. this October. 

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