The Essex Community Historical Society

PO Box 8388 Essex, Vermont 05451


His Purple Heart returned to Veteran Bruce Baker

Purple Heart Ceremony: On July 25, 2015, a ceremony was held at the Harriet Farnsworth Powell Museum for Purple Hearts Reunited to return PFC Bruce Baker's Purple Heart to the town where he lived as a child. Purple Hearts Reunited is a non-profit organization that works to return lost Purple Hearts to their owners or family members. Since there were no surviving family members, Captain Zachariah Fike, the founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, approached the Essex Community Historical Society about the possibility of returning PFC Baker's Purple Heart to the Society. PFC Bruce Baker was a member of Lima Company, 3rd BN, 5th Marines (USMC) and on July 24, 1966, while engaged in action against hostile forces in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, he sustained fragmentation wounds to the abdomen and chest resulting in his death . The last part of the Ceremony was a trip to Bruce's grave in Fairview Cemetery where after a few words were said and the Marine Corps hymn was sung, each member of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Group, one-by-one, gave PFC Bruce Baker a final salute. Bruce's Purple Heart will continue to be on display at the Harriet Farnsworth Powell Museum. For more details of this Ceremony please read the 2015 Fall Edition of the ECHO.

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