updated 10/15/2009 2:16:03 PM ET 2009-10-15T18:16:03

Ralph Baker isn't too upset that he lost $60 when someone broke into his Macon apartment and stole his wallet. It's the penny that was tucked inside the black billfold that really has him riled.

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Baker found the once-shiny penny at a Long Island train station the day he left to join the Navy in 1965.

It has stayed with the 27-year Navy veteran through the Vietnam War, the aftermath of the Beirut barracks attack and his time in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Baker says he feels like he lost a part of him Monday when the penny was pilfered.

The 61-year-old says "it's like me — it's all washed up, burned out and tarnished ... but it's been to more places than most people."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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