Military Photo of the Day: Valentine’s Day 2015
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Carpenter was shot in Afghanistan on Valentine’s Day 2011. He died five days later, leaving behind his wife, Crissie, who was eight months pregnant with their first child. I attended Lance Cpl. Carpenter’s funeral in Tennessee and interviewed his courageous widow shortly thereafter.
On March 18, 2011 — less than a month after Andrew’s death — Crissie gave birth to Landon Paul Carpenter. The above photograph, taken by Marcia Truitt at Inara Studios, quickly went viral on social media after publication. Like few photographs I’ve ever seen, it manages to sum up the staggering sacrifices of our nation’s military community since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In the four years since her husband’s death, Crissie Carpenter has become a role model and a friend. In addition to raising Landon, she has become an ambassador for Folds of Honor, a military charity that helps children of fallen heroes. I wrote a new column about Crissie and Landon in September.
As we honor Lance Cpl. Andrew Carpenter on the four-year anniversary of this tragedy, we also send our Valentine’s Day love and prayers to Crissie and Landon Carpenter. America has not forgotten — and will never forget — the sacrifices your entire family has made for our freedom.