#VeteranOfTheDay Russell Mack Baldwin


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Russell Mack Baldwin. Russell served between 1941 and 1945 during World War II.

In an interview with the Veterans History Project, Russell described how he was working as an optometrist when he was drafted in October 1941. In the Army, he served as a combat medic with the 551st Heavy Pontoon Bridge Battalion. Throughout the war, Russell was deployed to France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria.

Russell fought in the Battle of the Bulge and D-Day. He and his unit landed at Utah Beach in the second wave after D-Day. Russell was captured by German soldiers and was a prisoner of war for more than a month before the German soldiers were forced to retreat.

After the war, Russell returned to his family’s home and learned that his family had rented his room out to a student, who Russell would later marry. Russell passed away on May 27, 2003.

We honor your service, Russell.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Graphic created by Carl J. Valentino: Carl J. Valentino is a student at the University of Delaware with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Graphic Design.


Melissa Heintz

Melissa Heintz joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015 and currently works as the National Veterans Day Coordinator, National Veterans Outreach. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard.