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Clay County VA Clinic to be named after antisubmarine warfare chief

Rep. Yoho: Andrew Kenneth Baker's name selected

Chief Andy Baker (photo courtesy of Rep. Ted Yoho's office) (Courtesy: Rep. Ted Yoho's Office)

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The proposed name of the new Clay County VA Clinic that is slated to open in the spring next year has been announced by Rep. Ted Yoho.

With 219 votes cast, Andrew Kenneth Baker's name was selected with 50.68% of the total vote, according to a release from Yoho's office. Yoho will formally introduce legislation to name the Clay County Clinic the A.K. Baker VA Clinic.

An antisubmarine warfare chief, Baker was a combat search and rescue swimmer attached to HS-3 homeported at NAS Jacksonville, according to the release. Baker served on the USS Carl Vinson and USS Coral Sea as a ship's serviceman.

Baker was killed when Trident 615, a H-60 Seahawk, crashed at sea on March 13, 1997, during a SEAL training event, according to the release.

Among Baker's awards are:

  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Navy Achievement Medal (three awards)
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (two awards)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
  • Navy Battle "E"
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Service Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal (four awards)
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (five awards)
  • Sikorsky Winged "S"
  • Enlisted Aviation Warfare Insignia

"In the case of Chief Baker, we are thrilled that the community chose his name for the new VA clinic and know that his service will be remembered and an example to all," Yoho said in part of a released statement. "When his wife, Tina, presented his story at the workshop, not a dry eye was left in the room when she said that all she wanted was for Andy's name to be remembered. Today, we can be sure he will always be remembered."

The Clay County VA Clinic has been a five-year initiative for Yoho, according to the release. In 2014, Congressman Yoho secured the funds for the project and worked through three requests for proposals in order to get the current site.

Construction is slated to begin this summer with the opening target date set for spring 2020, according to the release. The clinic will boast 20,000 square feet and will offer lab work, primary care, tele-health and mental health counseling.


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