Not all family is blood-related. Some are forged through shared experiences, and perhaps no experience binds a group together more than fighting in a war.
Army Specialist Chris Harris considered the men in his Fort Bragg-based unit, with whom he was serving in Afghanistan when he was killed, to be his family. They were there with him when he learned his wife of less than a year was pregnant, and they were among the first to learn that Harris was having a daughter. Chris’s wife Britt knew how close her husband was to his fellow soldiers, so she arranged for a surprise gender reveal to be conducted at their base in Afghanistan.
Now that Chris is gone, she’s making sure her late husband’s family remains in the picture.
Harris died in August of 2017, and his daughter was born in March the next year. The exact day that Chris’s unit returned home. “Knowing that we could come home to a baby girl, that was awesome,” Sgt. Nathan Arthur Bagley told ABC. “When everyone came home, that was the day she was born so that made it ten times better.”
Once they were home, Britt planned a special photo shoot with the men in her husband’s unit and his newborn daughter, Christian Michelle, and the photographs from Pinehurst Photography are stunning.
The little girl wore her father’s dog tags and a onesie that read “My Daddy’s my hero,” as the soldiers posed with her.
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Goodbye my hero. My person. My calming voice. My soul mate. My world. My soldier. My savior. You will never be forgotten. You will never be replaced. You have set a standard in my life that no one else can ever reach. I am yours and eternally. I will love you in this life, and If there is life after I will find you and love you harder. My sweet sweet husband ….. mo cuishle
The little girl is the spitting image of her dad, and will surely treasure these photos, and her relationship with the men her father considered his brothers, for years to come.
“When she was born, it was like I was looking at my own son,” said Harris’ mother, Sue Kolean.