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Lawrence High School Honors Local Hero 

It’s homecoming weekend at Lawrence High School in Fairfield and folks there will use the occasion to honor a true local hero.Brian Buker grew up in Benton and graduated from Lawrence in 1967. Coming from a military family there was no surprise when he immediately enlisted in the Army just as his 3 older brothers, Victor, Gerald, and Alan, had done. “All 4 of us went to Vietnam and fortunately we all came back from Vietnam without a scratch,” says Alan Buker. “But Brian went back over for a second tour.”It was during that second tour that Brian, a U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret, and his unit hit an ambush. His unit would have been completely wiped out if not for the heroic actions of Sgt. Brian Buker. “He saved the lives of all of those men,” says Dan Lawless, a Vietnam veteran & Buker’s former Lawrence High School classmate. “After 40 years those men may have been married with children. There may be 150 descendants now, people that exist, because of what Brian did.”Brian’s bravery cost him his life and devastated his family back home. “I don’t think there’s adequate words from a mother or a brother to try to explain,” says his brother Alan Buker. “It’s a real tough process.”Sgt. Brian Buker was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, the medal going to his mother. “You’re proud that he didn’t die in vain and you’re proud that his country is going to recognize his achievements but you’ve got mixed feelings,” says Alan Buker.Meanwhile Dan Lawless paid a visit to Lawrence High School a few years ago and noticed something was missing. “I noticed all the great trophies and awards and the Cindy Blodgett memorial corner and I noticed there was no mention of Brian.”Brian’s mother Opal Buker passed away recently but before she died she and other family members and friends had a talk. The decision was made to donate Brian’s Medal of Honor to Lawrence High School. To serve as a memorial to Brian Buker and, his brother says, to inspire students. “And if his memory is going to inspire just one child. I’m sure he’d be happy about that.” Lawless says the students now have a true hero to look up to. “You know now a days to see a movie star walking down the street and kids say I love that. I want to get their autograph. This is a case where you have a real hero who graduated from this school who was enthusiastic about joining the service. He had a love of country. He had a love of his family that was tremendous.”Dan Lawless has also set up a scholarship fund in Brian’s name. If you’d like to donate to the fund you can send it to: The Brian Buker Memorial Scholarship Fund Lawrence High School9 School StreetFairfield, Maine 04937