I knew this session was going to be special but nothing could have prepared me for what it became and the beautiful family I was going to meet! I remember how nervous I was standing on the field at Wild Berry Farm Market watching the He family arrive and step out of the car. Knowing they would be the first Military family to kick off my Photos for Heroes Campaign, I felt anxious. My heart starts to race as I run up the hill to meet them. My stomach full of butterflies and nerves. By the time I reached the crescent of the hill and introduced myself to the whole He family, my nerves have melted into excitement!
I am so proud to introduce the He Family: Cashmere & Kirr and their two beautiful daughters Laylah & Lauren! This family is so sweetly genuine and amazing. I couldn’t be more proud to have them as my first Photo’s for Heroes family!
Cashmere and Kirr are some of the sweetest people I have ever met. You can tell by the way they look at each other they are best friends! Kirr can make Cashmere laugh just by looking at her. They share that unique bond that enables them to read the mind of the other just by looking at them! You would never guess that their relationship was built over long distances! These two lived 10 hours away from each other for the first 18 months of their relationship! But as Cashmere puts it, “we were super committed”, these two drove back and forth on weekends to see each other. As military families are accustomed to moving, Cashmere eventually received orders reassigning her to Maryland, which would be taking her further away from Kirr. Kirr knew he couldn’t be without her any longer. So he packed up his life and told Cashmere that he was joining her forever, and together they started a new life; Kirr, Cashmere and her girls. Cashmere and Kirr were married on October 29,2018!
Best love story ever! -Cashmere He
Although Both Cashmere and Kirr both served in the US Army, this post will be concentrated on Cashmere’s story!
Cashmere He served in the US Army for 17 year as a Mass Communications Specialist. She has deployed and been stationed all over the world, visiting many countries like Turkey, Tbilisi, and England, just to name a few. She lived in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. But South Korea is by far her favorite place to live. She loves the food, all the cultural festivals, and how breathtaking the countryside looks in Fall.
Serving is a part of Cashmere’s family legacy that started with her grandfather. Her entire family has served. When asked why she chose to enlist in the Army she said,
“I chose the Army because to me there is no greater branch of service. We are the greatest Army on earth. The Army gives you another family; more brothers and sisters selflessly helping you along your journey.”
During her service Cashmere graduated from journalism school and had the honor of telling the Army’s story through the lives of Soldiers who served. Cashmere said,
“to me, it doesn’t get any better than that. That at this time, in history, I could tell the world about us, who we are, what we did, that we were here, that we made and difference and most importantly that what we did mattered.”
Cashmere is such an amazing woman! She says the Army made her realize “how strong I really can be!”. She fought battles of PTSD, depression, and overwhelming homesickness from being separated from family. But her strength, resilience, and perseverance gave her the power to kick butt at her job and take care of Soldiers.
When I asked Cashmere what her service story is or what she would like to share she replied:
“My service story is one for my children. That their mother and father served proudly with their love always covering us, giving us the ultimate reason to finish the mission so we could get back home to them. I served my country to try to give myself a better life than the cards I had and gave so much of myself that my children will reap the benefits of my labor and not have to sacrifice the way I did.”
It was such a privilege and honor to have had the opportunity to photograph Cashmere and her amazing family and an honor to tell their story. THANK YOU, HE FAMILY, for being my first Heroes! I couldn’t imagine a better way to start this campaign. Thank you for your service and sacrifices you make on a daily basis for the community and country!
A special thank you to our January partner:
Venue: Wildberry Farm & Market
February 5, 2020