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Meet Golconda native Thomas Baker who rose through the ranks to become a three-star general in the United States Air Force. The former fighter pilot was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) during the 2008 Homecoming celebration at his alma mater. General Baker reminisced with SIUC Chancellor Sam Goldman about his days as a business major at SIU in the mid-1950s during an interview at Southern's Old Main Mall. Following his retirement from the Air Force, General Baker served as the first Director of the Texas State Jail System. He now lives in Williamsville, Virginia and remains active in community affairs and as a private pilot.
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