ROCHELLE – After meeting the mother of a fallen Marine, Aubrey Headon knew then she wanted to create a special prom dress dedicated to the memory of the Darkhorse Battalion members who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan between fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
Headon, a senior student at Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, spent two years designing the dress that resembled an American flag. Her skirt included red and white ribbons with the names of 25 fallen members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, known also as 3/5 or Darkhorse.
This past Saturday, Headon wore her dress to the prom and after her family posted photos of its meaning on social media, the story went viral and is gaining national media attention.
In addition, Headon also honored a local man by wearing one black ribbon amongst the others. The black ribbon in the middle was dedicated to 2014 RTHS graduate Tyler Smith who was member of the Illinois Army National Guard and about to begin a career in law enforcement before he unexpectedly died last September.
Headon, who said she has received many messages of support since her mother posted the dress on social media, credits Gold Star mom Gretchen Catherwood for the inspiration to help support combat veterans through the Darkhorse Lodge.
“I do a fundraiser every year to donate to the lodge, and I just wanted to do something else to honor the memory of these fallen heroes,” Headon explained.