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July 04, 2024

To Celebrate Independence Day, King Interviews Army National Guard Veteran

Interview will be contributed to the Veterans History Project, a Library of Congress initiative, to collect and preserve the stories of American veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On this Independence Day, U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs (SVAC) and Armed Services Committees (SASC), released his latest episode of “Answering the Call: Maine’s Veteran Voices.” In the 15th interview of the series, produced in partnership with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, Senator King spoke with Angela Baker of Pittsfield. Baker served with the Army National Guard for 20 years, during which she deployed to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the interview, King asked Baker about her active duty service with the Guard and her work today with the American Legion.

“Angela’s story is moving and one that truly showcases the selfless spirit of Maine people,” said Senator King. “From being inspired to join the Maine Guard after seeing the impact that the National Guard had on her own community’s recovery from a devastating ice storm to serving alongside her battalion overseas in Iraq and now working with veterans at home in Maine, Angela has lived a life of service and integrity. As we celebrate Independence Day, let us take a moment to recognize and honor all the brave men and women — like Angela — whose dedication to our nation allows us to enjoy our freedoms today.”

Angela Baker was born in Lewiston and grew up in Buckfield. Inspired by the National Guard’s assistance to Maine residents during the Ice Storm of 1998, Baker joined the Maine Guard at the age of 17, while still a junior in high school. She completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, before finishing her senior year at Buckfield High School.

Upon graduation, she attended Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in Gulfport, Mississippi, to become a carpenter mason specialist. From 2000 to 2003, she worked on the Maine Guard’s State Active Duty construction crew based out of Camp Keyes in Augusta. During this time, she also worked as a child behavioral specialist in Augusta and as a restaurant server.

In 2003, three years after completing her AIT, Baker was hired for the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) position and welcomed her first son. Soon after graduating from leadership development training, her battalion was ordered to mobilize in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In January 2004, Baker’s Battalion was deployed to Mosul, Iraq, where Angela served as the Administrative Sergeant in the S-1 section until August 2005. During her deployment, she was one of the first to arrive on the scene following a suicide bombing in the cafeteria of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Marez. As a Sergeant, she was responsible for accounting for the S-1 personnel. Tragically, two young soldiers from Maine did not survive the attack. As one was only in his physical training gear, Angela helped to identify him with his dog tags.

Baker, alongside her battalion, returned home in February 2005, where she was reunited with her son. Shortly after returning home, she met her husband, who also served in the military and was deployed twice during their marriage.

From 2012 to 2017, Baker served as the Training NCO for the 488th Military Police Company in Waterville before transferring to the State Headquarters, where she retired at the rank of Sergeant First Class.

After 20 years of active duty, she retired from the Army National Guard in 2023. She continued her service to veterans by starting a new career with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Office, where she is currently the Human Resources Liaison.

Baker is an active member of her local American Legion and was recently nominated as the Second Vice Commander for the 10th District of the American Legion. She currently resides in Pittsfield with her husband and three children.

The Veterans History Project is an effort by the Library of Congress to collect, preserve and distribute the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The interviews and primary documents from the project are then used by researchers, historians, students, and filmmakers across the country. Senator King joins many other members of Congress who’ve participated in the project.

Representing one of the states with the highest rates of veterans per capita, Senator King is a staunch advocate for America’s servicemembers and veterans. Senator King uses this interview series to learn and share the stories of the lives, service, and sacrifices of Maine’s veteran community. He has been among the Senate’s most prominent voices on the need to address veterans suicide, and has repeatedly pressed for action from top Department of Defense officials on this issue. An advocate for amplifying veteran voices, Senator King held a field hearing focusing on long-term care in Maine. Additionally, he recently led a bipartisan letter calling for more support for victims of military sexual trauma, as well as a letter urging further investments in traumatic brain injury research, the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

You can watch previous episodes of “Answering the Call: Maine’s Veteran Voices” here.


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