U.S. Army veteran Rudy Baker of Clayton is donating the book he co-authored, “The Boys of Benning,” to every Johnston County public high school.
Baker asked to donate the book through the Junior ROTC detachment or program at each high school.
“The Boys of Benning” tells stories from the lives of 14 men who graduated in 1962 from Army Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Ga.
“I hope these students learn self-discipline, and I hope they learn from some of the mistakes that we made,” said Baker, who retired from the Army with the rank of colonel. “I hope they learn to find a good job that they enjoy and to help other people. There’s a lot of that in this book.”
In addition to donating the book, Baker is spending time with the Junior ROTC students at each school. At South Johnston, he spoke to the students about his career in the military and answered questions they had. Baker encouraged the students to pursue higher education and to ultimately work in job they love.
“I hope to be an example for these students,” said Baker. “They are the next great generation.”
“As a member of Junior ROTC it means a lot to me and my peers to have Mr. Baker come speak, because he’s a role model.” said James Biggs, a cadet chief master sergeant in the Air Force Junior ROTC at South Johnston High School. “He’s done so much for our country and everyone in his life, and that’s why we strive to do what we do.”
The media center at each high school will add the book to its collection.
“Newer generations are starting to not appreciate literature and the lessons learned through history,” Biggs said. “I hope this book can inspire students, teach them lessons and change them in a positive way.”
Baker has already visited South Johnston and West Johnston. He plans to visit the rest of the high schools later this month