James Clemens Football Player Chris Baker Visited Washington D.C. As Part Of Boys Nation
MADISON- The whirlwind kind of summer for Chris Baker has come to a close as he’s now fully focused on the upcoming 2019 high school football season as a prominent player for the James Clemens Jets. The senior Jet just arrived back home from a week-long trek to the Nation’s Capital as part of the American Legion Boys Nation.
“It was great being surrounded by so many great young minds who will one day make the decisions for our future,” said Baker. “Plus, being around all of the current leaders of our country while in Washington D.C. was certainly an eye-opener.”
Baker was one of two representatives from Alabama who joined two similar delegates from each of the 50 states who made their way to D.C. for the finale of the 2019 American Legion program designed to teach high school students the practical aspects of government. Baker was among those who visited the various historical sites and met with an array of government officials including Vice President Mike Pence. The Vice President spoke to the group about their endeavors into the world of government and how the future depends on their knowing what running a government is all about.
The group from Boys Nation also visited Capitol Hill and met with a bevy of current members of Congress. For Baker, he took pride in meeting the representatives from Alabama including Richard Shelby, Mo Brooks, Gary Palmer and Doug Jones.
The group stayed in the dorms of Marymount University and made their way through areas of Washington D.C. making stops at The Eisenhower Tower, Union Station, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and a special stop at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Our group laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guards,” said Baker.
The journey included listening to guest speakers, which featured a FBI agent, a North Korea defector and an expert on the U.S. Constitution. Baker said their stories were touching and informative.
“I learned so much about leadership and how to use those leadership skills,” said Baker. “We saw first-hand how to speak and communicate and capture an audience. Each of us were allowed to speak to the rest of our group and others in attendance on our political stance and subject. My passion is prison reform. I want first-time offenders in non-violent crimes to be able to attend a trade school or a GED program so once they leave prison confinement each will be able to go back into society ready for work.”
Baker made his way to locales that have many historical meanings. One of which was the Lincoln Memorial at dusk. Baker stood in amazement of the wondrous fixture of President Lincoln. He said as he was making eye contact with the statue and looking up the enormous fixture the lights suddenly came on. “It was an awesome sight and a very powerful moment,” said Baker.
“The most touching moment for me was when I stood on the stone slabs indicating the places where Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and President Obama gave his Inauguration speech. I stood there and looked out across the Reflecting Pool and tried to imagine how it must have felt for them.”
Baker was elected Governor of the American Legion Alabama Boys State at the 82nd annual event held in Tuscaloosa earlier this summer. Boys State is set up to educate the youth of Alabama in the duties and privileges of American citizenship.
His father, Chris Baker, Sr., recently retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army. The young Baker said his place in life and how he looks at people around him and how he cares for his community all comes his father’s guidance. “I want to take this opportunity to thank my father for his service to our country,” added Baker.
In the meantime, the 5-foot-10, 205-pound Baker is back at football practice for James Clemens in preparation for the 2019 season, which gets underway with the season opener versus Grayson, Ga. on Aug. 23 at Madison City Schools Stadium. Baker plays running back and receiver and is expected to be a prominent part of what could be a banner season for the Jets.
“I’m excited about our season and even more excited I was able to share with my teammates my experiences in Washington,” said Baker. “They were excited for me.”