Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.
Seventy-first Entry. Hope to see you again, Baker.
03 SEP 03 | 2210 - Wednesday

It's kind of sad to know that it was destined for Baker to leave. I haven't really said a word to her, but I have more respect for her, not just as a soldier, but as a person as wee, than anyone else here. She is the strongest (mentally) here. She is the most determined of all of us. On day one she demanded perfection of herself and refused to even account for the option of giving anything less. She might not be the strongest physically, but when a Drill Sergeant dropped her just to try and break her.

He made her do a squat thrust (Squat Thrust: Stand at the position of attention, drop to the ground and thrust your legs out into the push-up position, known as the Front-lean Rest, and then thrust you feet beneath you and rise to the position of attention) and three push-ups before again rising to the position of attention again. The first push-up was for God, the second for her country, and the third for him-the Drill Sergeant. The cycle continued onward in seemingly endless repetition. She pushed on past muscle failure-the point where you may have the will to push on, but you body doesn't have the means to comply. It was sheer force of will pumping in her veins, fueling her not just for the next 5 minutes, but the rest of time. An unbreakable, unwavering force. Private (Katie) Baker is as close as anyone gets to Dominique Francon.

Sadly, as I said, it was predestined for her to not stay. She was pulled aside for mental examinations (When asked of her MOS, she said it was personal; when asked what her first name was, she replied, "Private." She always has her eyes and head straight forward; she never lets her body or mind relax). The Army has never met anyone quite so religious before, so they sent her to get her examined. Not religious as in the sense that most are, but religious in herself, dedicating her life to her own power and force; unwilling to yield to anything not solid enough to actually beat her; refusing to make her inferiors her peers. It's so sad to see the ideal woman fall because of such things.

Why, you ask, was it predestined? There are a few number that appear in my life during certain events that its pressence-insignificant to most-is impossible for me to not notice. My weapon issue number was 4-214. Baker was here while I had that number. Baker left, and now my weapon issue number is 4-213. The number thirteen is one of those numbers show up in my life constantly and blatantly. I couldn't help but notice Baker's absence-such a shame. When we were issued our weapons, I was one of the only two people who had the weapon they were supposed to have before we got things organized in accordance with alphabetical and numerical matching order. Sheer chance? Some might say so, but I don't.

I was glad to see that number resurface. I cherish that brand of reassurance. Who doesn't like knowing that they are doing as the should be doing? I didn't like that it means Baker failed in her mission, that she is no longer here. I have a reluctance to admit it, but I don't think she'll be coming back. I hope I'm wrong, though. Maybe.

I needed to see the strongest fail, though, so that I can learn and adapt so that I might succeed past all my predecessors in a manner that has no meaning to anyone...save for myself. I am sad to see you go, Baker, but don't worry, I'll press on and get the gob done as is should be done for the both of us. For all of us.

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Flashes of High School
Summer of Change
No Brass, No ammo
Lost in Translation

Last Five

And that's that.
Referenced #2
To write them.
Heart vs mind.