Student Turned Her Prom Dress into a Handmade Tribute to Fallen Marines

Pedro Marrero
May 10, 2019
09:43 A.M.

A teenager performed a heroic act by wearing a prom dress with a powerful message of solidarity to those soldiers who have lost their lives in the war.


Aubrey Headon 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.

The girl worked on the dress she had designed for two years until that long-awaited day when she would have the pleasure of wearing it in front of everyone.


The blue halter neck dress was delicately adorned at the waist and the bodice with fabric that resembles the colors of the national flag.

However, it is not because of the patriotic colors of the dress that people praised so much Aubrey, but because of the unique design of the skirt in which she embroidered with great patience twenty-five names belonging to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, also known like 3/5 or Darkhorse.


Aubrey decided to make this special tribute after meeting Gretchen Catherwood, who lost her son when he was in the Sangin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, between September 2010 and April 2011.

Alec Catherwood and his other 24 comrades named in the skirt lost their lives fighting for our country. "It all started when I met one of the Gold Star moms, Gretchen Catherwood," she explained. "She started the Darkhorse Lodge to help combat veterans, I do a fundraiser every year to donate to the lodge."


The teenager explained that the Darkhorse Lodge is an initiative to provide a quiet place for combat veterans to enjoy rest, relaxation and recreation. Since she met Gretchen, she has actively participated in the charitable organization by raising funds.

“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”

Incredibly, Aubrey managed to raise $ 2,133 in October 2018, and with great pride gave the founders of Darkhorse, Gretchen, and her husband Kirk, the valuable check. However, her main desire was to raise awareness about Alec and the other fallen heroes during her prom night at Rochelle Township High School.

“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 said. “I don’t want them to fade into nothing.”


The tribute made by Aubrey has made the families of all those fallen heroes very happy, they have praised the great work of this girl and they are especially grateful to her for remembering those young people who gave their lives to the service of others.

Losing a loved one could be one of the hardest things to get over. With each passing day, the memories of that person keep coming, and the hurt just grows on you.

This story reminded us of an Indianapolis girl who had a similar idea and had her graduation gown designed in honor of her brother, who died at the age of 17 as a result of armed violence in his community.

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