Fort Bliss, located in El Paso, Texas, is like any other military base throughout the United States -- barracks for living, mess hall for chow, gyms, banks -- but a recent addition is drawing the eyes of an increasing amount of people.
The post authorized, then built, a house specifically for soldiers who had just become new mothers. The house is primarily a nursing room complete with comfortable chairs and refrigerators for storing milk -- small things that provide a bit of relief to a mother who is navigating her new adventure of raising a child.
Veteran and photographer Tara Ruby caught wind of the nursing room addition, reached out to a support group for new mothers, and, with approval of the Fort Bliss Public Affairs and Garrison Command, Ruby had a photo shoot of ten soldiers.
What has gotten more publicity from this shoot is that the picture released is of the ladies breastfeeding their children. Ruby said:
I thought it was nice to offer some photographs as an additional show of support. Seeing a picture like that helps mothers understand they can be an active soldier and provide support to their children. I think it's great the Army is supporting active duty mothers. Sometimes, you hit a point in your military career where you have to choose between being a soldier and a mother, and a photo like this helps mothers so they don't have to choose.
The photo is of the soldiers in uniform, and CNN found that protocol on breastfeeding in uniform is allowed as long as "professional standards" are maintained.
Ruby said she posted the photo to her Facebook page last week, but it was removed. She reposted it, and, as of Sunday, the photo had garnered 6,000 shares.