A Virginia Beach woman has received a rare honor from the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Doris Baker, 97, is one of only 10 people to be named an honorary member of the regiment. She received the honor on Wednesday during an induction ceremony at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach.

"The U.S. Army Special Forces has been around since World War II, and yet there have only been nine official honorary members of the regiment," Col. Matthew Carran, commandant of Special Forces at the Army special warfare school at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said at the ceremony. "It doesn't happen often."

"I wish I could hug every one of you," Baker said after receiving the award.

Baker spent 39 years at a Defense Department school for Green Berets' children in Bad Toelz in Germany, serving as a teacher and then principal.

Carran said a nomination packet he received for Baker showed a woman who went beyond the call of the duty. She served as a mentor and offered guidance to both the students and their families.

The packet contained endorsements from Michael Vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, now head of the Army Special Operations Command, along with members of the 10th Special Forces Group who were posted in Bad Toelz when Baker worked at the school.

"I'll remember this for the rest of my life, I don't think there will ever be another day in my life like this," Baker said.

Virginia Beach's City Council also honored Baker by declared Nov. 5 Doris C. Baker Day.

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