Bristow Veteran Shares Life Stories As He Celebrates 100th Birthday On Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11th 2020, 6:22 pm
By: Amy Avery

BRISTOW, Okla. -

Every Veterans Day is special for one Green Country man – November 11 is also his birthday – but this year he celebrates his 100th birthday by hitting the golf course.

"I just take every day at a time and I don't worry about anything,” said Basil Baker.

Baker has seen a lot in his 100 years.

He was born on November 11th, 1920, when Woodrow Wilson was still in office.

"I've seen a lot of presidents,” said Baker.

Baker grew up south of Bristow with eight brothers and sisters. After finishing 8th grade, Baker decided high school wasn't for him. Instead, he started working as a ranch-hand and substitute teaching at the age of 12.

"My grade-school teacher was a farmer and he had to take off days that he planted, days that he gathered so he asked me if I would teach school,” said Baker.

Baker lived through the dust bowl and the Great Depression.

"I heard Daddy tell Momma the one time that they did really well, they'd come up with $120 for the year,” said Baker.

He served as a Sergeant Major in Austria during World War II, working mostly with military police operations and the counter-intelligence corps.

“A group of guys that never wore uniforms that went into the community to feel the beat of the community toward the military,” said Baker.

No matter how many medals he wore on his uniform, it could never top being a dad.

"My kids all mean so much to me," said Baker.

Baker met his wife, Ganda, while working at a hospital in New Mexico after he retired from the military. He was the personnel director for 900 employees, but his boss was a little nervous about Baker only having an 8th grade education.

"I said you give me 30 days and at the end of 30 days if you like my work, you start paying me," said Baker.

Throughout the course of life, Basil said he's just thankful for the people he's met along the way.

"I just love people, still love people," said Baker.