Now that prom season is officially in full swing, you may have noticed that your timeline has been filled with pictures of everyone’s beautiful suits and gowns.
Some people have even decided to get creative and DIY their prom dresses. That’s what Aubrey Headon did, except she decided her DIY would include a little something special.
Aubrey was enormously excited to attend her graduation party like any other girl her age, but she had a special reason to show off that night. She wanted to remind everyone about the great work that the US soldiers serving in conflict zones have done.
Aubrey’s idea was to use her own prom gown as a tribute, but the result she got was much bigger than she had expected. The girl from Rochelle, Illinois went viral thanks to her story and so her message reached the whole world.
Aubrey attends Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, Illinois, and designed her prom dress to resemble the American flag with streamers of red and white that flow down the blue skirt. The top half of the dress included embellishments that looked like stars.
On the red and white ribbons of the dress, 25 names are printed of the members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, also known as 3/5 or Darkhorse. They were killed in combat between September 2010 and April 2011 while in the Sangin District of Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
“I wanted to wear this tribute dress (to) my senior prom so the memories of the guys who fell in Afghanistan for our right to live how we do and do what we do every day is carried on,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle after images of her patriotic dress went viral.
Aubrey was inspired by her local heroes. She heard a heart-wrenching story about the Battalion based in Camp Pendleton, California, from the mother of one of the fallen Marines, Alec Catherwood. His death inspired Aubrey Headon, 19, to design the special dress.
“She told me that her son, Alec Catherwood, was one of the Marines in the Battalion, and his best friend was also killed. It made me cry, and I decided then that I wanted to do something to remember them,” Aubrey said.
More details of this story from AWM:
Aubrey plans to attend college next year and major in fashion design. She wants to start her own line of clothing and continue designing special occasion dresses like her prom dress tribute.
“I definitely want to pursue a career in fashion,” Aubrey said. “I would love to design more special occasion dresses like this one.”
In addition to the dress, she created a poster to pay further tribute to the fallen Marines and to educate people about their lives.
“Their lives… and their memories need to carry on so that they don’t fade into nothing.”
The names of the Marines are:
- 1st Lt. Robert M. Kelly
- 1st Lt. William Donnelly
- Lance Cpl. Arden Buenagua
- Lance Cpl. John Sparks
- Cpl. Justin Cain
- Pfc. Victor Dew
- Lance Cpl. Joseph Rodewald
- Sgt. Ian Tawney
- Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge
- Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood
- Lance Cpl. Irvin Ceniceros
- Lance Cpl. Joseph Lopez
- Lance Cpl. James Boelk
- Lance Cpl. Matthew Broehm
- Lance Cpl. Brandon Pearson
- Lance Cpl. Randy Braggs
- Lance Cpl. James Stack
- Sgt. Jason Peto
- Sgt. Matthew Abbate
- Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine
- Pfc. Colton Rusk
- Cpl. Derek Wyatt
- Lance Cpl. Jose Maldonado
- Cpl. Tevan Nguyen
- Sgt. Jason Amores