An eye-opening new photo of a group of 10 military moms breastfeeding their infant babies has gone viral after it was recently posted to Facebook.
The snapshot — taken by former Air Force servicewoman-turned-photographer Tara Ruby — was inspired by Fort Bliss' first-ever nursing room as well as her own personal experience as a mom. The El Paso, Tex. shutterbug served in the Air Force from 1997 to 2001, and decided to immortalize a beautiful moment of bonding between moms and their newborns.
Ruby asked a group of 10 active duty military moms to pose in the center of Fort Bliss' Main Parade Field in El Paso, Tex., in uniform while breastfeeding their babies. Ruby found the women through the Fort Bliss P3T Program, and her goal was to normalize how breastfeeding is perceived in society.
"Today I believe we made history," Ruby wrote on social media this past weekend. "To my knowledge a group photo to show support of active duty military mommies nursing their little's has never been done. It is so nice to see support for this here at Fort Bliss. Through the guidance of my military friends, the Fort Bliss P3T Program and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, our Garrison command and our Public Affairs, we were able to show that even our mommies in uniform can provide for their babies."
Ruby cited her own personal struggle as a military mom to an infant child for why she wanted to present this image to the world.
"I was active duty a long time ago when support for breastfeeding moms wasn't even an option or a consideration. We have come so far," she continued. "Breastfeeding their babies doesn't make them less of a soldier, I believe it makes them a better one. Juggling the tasks and expectations of a soldier, plus providing for their own in the best way they possibly can, makes these ladies even stronger for it. I want to say Thank You to everyone that saw my vision, and helped us in succeeding in making it come true. I am 100% for #normalizebreastfeeding. How about you?"
The image, which was originally posted to Facebook last week, was removed within 24 hours, she wrote in her follow-up note. "I posted this on here last night at 11:59pm," Ruby shared. "It has since disappeared from my feed and my wall. So we are posting this here again."
The snapshot, which has since gone viral, has over 8,000 shares on the social media site.
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