|Paul and Kris Streed Crawford have been married 49 years.|
|Lawrence Eyre married Laurie 40 years ago.|
Guy L. Johnson, Jr., 72, of Coal Valley, IL, passed away January 29, 2022 at UnityPoint Trinity Rock Island.
Guy's full obituary is copied below.
Family and friends are invited to share memories and express condolences on his memory wall.
1. Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal Home!
2. Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
3. Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
4. A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone,
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
5. Thy word commands our flesh to dust:
"Return ye sons of men!"
All nations rose from earth at first
And turn to earth again.
6. Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the opening day.
7. Like flowery fields the nations stand,
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower's hand
Lie withering ere 'tis night.
8. Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Be Thou our Guard while troubles last
And our eternal Home!
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 90
Author: Isaac Watts, 1719, ab.
Composer: William Croft, 1708
Tune: "St. Anne"
|Guy Johnson, MHS 68, and I - MHS66 - posed outside of Lagomarcino's in downtown Moline, not far from the historic location of Melo Cream.|
| I see Jeff Hall in the top row, first guy on the left.|
I told Christina I wanted to go back in a time machine and say to Jane, next to Jeff, "You are going to marry the Boston Chief of Police!" - and similar improbable predictions that would happen.
|The newly lit bridge looks spectacular, but the John Baker Bridge honors the soldier who earned the Medal of Honor. We were in high school gym together. Yes, I would love to go back in time and say, "You will earn the Medal of Honor, the highest and rarest distinction."|
The Giant Killer
At 5' 2" 105 lbs, Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. certainly qualifies as a Giant Killer. He was also the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.
Sgt. Baker made up for his diminutive stature by building up his physique. Inspired by his father’s work as a circus trapeze artist, he joined a gymnastics squad in high school and trained on the rings, learning to execute a perfect iron cross.
Accepted by the Army during the Vietnam War — the Marine Corps said he was an inch too short — Sgt. Baker’s impressive strength helped him save the lives of his fellow soldiers.
On Nov. 5, 1966, Sgt. Baker’s unit was tasked with reinforcing a group of American soldiers pinned down near Dau Tieng, close to the Cambodian border. About 3,000 Vietnamese had taken positions in the surrounding jungle, hiding in underground bunkers and roping themselves to tree branches.
As the U.S. soldiers advanced, the lead scout was shot in the face.
The jungle erupted in enemy fire. Camouflaged machine gun positions spit bullets that whizzed by Sgt. Baker’s head. Mortar rounds thumped the ground. Snipers in the trees picked off Americans hiding on the ground.
Sgt. Baker ran toward the front with another soldier and helped destroy two enemy bunkers. During the attack, the other soldier was mortally wounded. Sgt. Baker killed four enemy snipers before carrying his comrade away from the ambush.
Returning to the battle, Sgt. Baker was blown off his feet by an enemy grenade but recovered to make repeated trips through withering fire to evacuate wounded American soldiers much larger than himself. By the end of the two-hour conflict, Sgt. Baker’s uniform was soaked in the blood of his comrades.
In all, Sgt. Baker was credited with recovering eight fallen U.S. soldiers, destroying six bunkers and killing at least 10 enemies.
As his Medal of Honor nomination was considered, Sgt. Baker spent the rest of his tour as a “tunnel rat.” Armed with a flashlight and pistol, he explored the spider- and scorpion-infested subterranean network used by Viet Cong guerillas. During one mission, he discovered a full-scale hospital complete with surgical suites buried three stories below ground.
Returning home in August 1967, Sgt. Baker served as a drill instructor. One day, he was told he had an urgent phone call. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson on the line, inviting him to the White House to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest decoration for valor.
According to his citation, “Sgt. Baker’s selfless heroism, indomitable fighting spirit, and extraordinary gallantry were directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades, and inflicting serious damage on the enemy.”
Joining Sgt. Baker at the ceremony in the East Room was his company commander, then-Capt. Robert F. Foley, who also was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the same battle that November day in 1966.
Foley, who retired from the Army as a lieutenant general in 2000, stood 6-foot-7 and played basketball at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Noticing the soldiers’ disparate heights, Johnson told Sgt. Baker and Foley that they reminded him of the cartoon characters Mutt and Jeff.
John Franklin Baker Jr. was born Oct. 30, 1945, in Davenport, Iowa, and was raised in Moline, Ill.
After being awarded the Medal of Honor, Sgt. Baker traveled the country as a recruiter. His repeated requests to be sent back to Vietnam for combat duty were denied. He retired from the military in 1989 and later worked at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Columbia, S.C.
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. The Giant Killer book is available now on Amazon & Walmart websites. God Bless our Vets!
|In 2010 the Interstate 2-80 bridge was named the Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. Bridge. Initiating the successful process through all its steps and organizing the dedication ceremony was the Quad Cities Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299. Spearheaded by Ray Hamilton and William Albracht.|
|I was already working on my triceps, rolling out dough, and building a portfolio as a donut model for calendars. No royalties, except what I ate.|
The origin of "O Holy Night" invoked memories, singing that beautiful song at our elementary school - Garfield. We were so backward, we called it a grade school then. Multi-syllables are the key to sophistication.
One of our teachers sang the obbligato to "O Holy Night", and she had the voice of an angel. One of her students became famous in the opera world, because of the influence of that teacher. My mother said of the teacher, in a hushed voice, "She was first soprano in the Augustana College Choir."
We were so backward, we had a Christmas program every year at Garfield. Each class would sing actual Christmas hymns and songs with parents and teachers in the audience. I would scan the audience for my mother, who was teaching there. She would always give me a big smile and I smiled back, could not help it.
Moline was a small town. When my father plugged in his electric shaver, the trolley car would slow down.
We did not know that we were living in a peaceful paradise. Some bad things did intrude, but my mother always explained them to us:
|This was Photoshopped by a Moline friend.|
|This was another calendar pose, which took place in an apple orchard.|