Medal-of-Honor-winning Army veteran has San Diego Park named for his tribute

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego has named a park after an Army veteran who won the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.

The Union-Tribune said in 1970 John Baca threw his helmet and then his body on a live grenade – smothering the blast and saving eight other soldiers. Baca was 20 at the time and was later awarded the nation’s highest decoration for valor in combat.

Now 68, he was on hand Saturday as the city dedicated John P. Baca Park. Baca grew up nearby.

Some 200 people attended the ceremony, which included a Marine Corps band and a color guard from the high school Baca attended.

Baca said it’s “wonderful” that the neighborhood around the park became a resettlement area for Vietnamese refugees after the war.

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