Twin brothers, Louie and Johnie Baima celebrate their 92nd birthday together. The two men have been inseparable since birth in Dunkirk, Kansas and that proved to be true all through their lives, including going to war. That was despite a government policy against sending siblings to fight at the same time.
"We told them, if you don't leave us together, we can save the government a lot of money and they said "What do you mean?" (I said) you see that big house over there? it's a prison. Just send us both over now, cause that's where we're both going to be" says Louie Baima, the older twin, by ten minutes.
So they stapled their records together and were off to fort Leavenworth for training in the horse Calvary.
They went from trainees to trainers when they were sent to China
"They had us training Chinese soldiers and they was supposed to learn our tactics and then we was going to invade Japan" says Johnie.
The 18-year-olds took the train from Shanghai to Bombay, India, ending up in Burma.
"So they took so many of us young guys and we went up and filled in for Merrill's Marauders."
Many troops in Merrill's Marauders were getting killed, so they needed recruits.
"Our colonel met us and he said "You guys don't have no rifles" they didn't give us any. They said "take the guns off the dead guys"
Their leaders made Louie a B.A.R. Man and Johnie was his assistant.
Merrill's Marauders all later received a bronze star.
Fast forward more than 70 years later, these decorated veterans gather with their friends and family to celebrate their 92nd birthday.
"We are honored to be able to do this and honor them for their service and their dedication to our country" says Pat Baker.
The ladies from Quilts of Valor presented and wrapped the honored men in their red white and blue blankets, made in recognition of their sacrifice and valor, but also to give them comfort.
The brothers were also nominated to be members of the 2018 Honor Flight.
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