Corey Dylan with James Baker.
Photo courtesy of Corey Dylan.
By Corey Dylan, AliveTampaBay.com Correspondent
I recently made plans to catch up with my favorite World War II veteran. I had the privilege several years ago of accompanying James Baker of Lakeland on the Honor Flight of West Central Florida. Founded in 2010, the organization honors veterans with an all-expenses-paid flight to their memorials in Washington, D.C. The emphasis is currently on WWII veterans but they have started to extend it to Korean War vets, too. Jim and I were paired to make the trip together and became fast friends.
Over dinner at Council Oak at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Jim recounted for me that 74 years ago on July 7th he remembered sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge on his way to the South Pacific to join Allied Forces to fight in the war. He was barely 15 at the time. Jim would spend four years overseas before the war was over and it was time to return home to America. He celebrated his 90th birthday this year, still plays golf several times a week and travels to see family and friends all over the country!