AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Commander Kenyetia Baker is making history by becoming the first and youngest female commander of American Legion Post 505.
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“Someone asked me why, well the answer is simple. I’m doing this because my soul tells me that I have to,” said Commander Kenyetia Baker.
Standing at five feet tall, Commander Kenyetia Baker, has big plans for American Legion Post 505.
“You don’t have to have a degree to serve, you don’t have to make your subject verb agree to serve you only need a heart full of grace,” said Commander Baker.
And Commander Baker says she knows grace all too well.
“You never know looking at a person what they’ve been through. Me serving my country and then having to come out and living in a shelter with my two daughters wasn’t something I was proud of, but I’m using that as triumph,” said Commander Baker.
Commander Baker made the transition from being homeless to now making history as the first and youngest woman to take on commander at post 505.
After being sworn in Sunday, Baker says she’s ready to tackle a big issue, that’s impacting veterans in Augusta.
“Homelessness is my number one issue, I feel like we really need to get a hold of, because why do we have veterans who served our country so proudly and there the reason why we’re currently free, and they don’t have a place to lay their head,” said Commander Baker.
American Legion is the largest veterans’ organization in the country. Its mission is to provide resources to veterans in the community. That includes housing.
“It’s gotten very bad, especially during the pandemic, because they were not accepting anybody, not just veterans anybody,” said 11th District Officer Louis Hayes.
Augusta’s latest homeless count showed there were more than 400 people facing homelessness, 31 of them being veterans. 11th district officer Louis Hayes, says she’s confident Commander Baker can fix this problem, but it’ll take some support from the community.
“I’m very confident that she will do exactly what she says she will do within her powers,” said Officer Hayes.
Commander Baker hopes to encourage younger veterans to join and be active in the organization to help carry on their mission. She says her first order of business will be fixing up post 505. She says she’s already be in contact with some contractors to begin that process.