Army wives help grieving mother find peace after baby's death at Fort Knox
With the click of her camera and tears in her eyes, Jamie Dodson knelt in the dirt Wednesday at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central near Fort Knox.
FORT KNOX, Ky. (WDRB) -- With the click of her camera and tears in her eyes, Jamie Dodson knelt in the dirt Wednesday at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central near Fort Knox.
“Every mom around here, it's like a tribe,” she said. “We link together in times like this, and that's what makes Army wives so special. It takes an army to take care of each other.”
Dodson is an Army wife and knows what it's like to relocate, but she could never imagine leaving her baby behind. That's what Lindsey Davenport was forced to do when her husband was reassigned from Fort Knox.
Dodson and Davenport were strangers until now, but they have a lot in common. Dodson's family is located at Fort Knox. Davenport is now stationed hundreds of miles away at Fort Stewart in Georgia.
It was three years ago when Davenport was pregnant with her third child and suffered through a mother's worst nightmare.
“Going in for a routine appointment, we had learned his heart wasn't beating anymore,” Davenport said.
After 12 hours in labor, baby Patrick was born, but his parents were soon forced to bury him in the veterans' cemetery.
“She wasn't expecting this,” Dodson said. “She wasn't expecting the doctors to say ‘Well, we are going to put you to sleep and take your baby.’”
This week marks the baby's third birthday, but his family couldn't make the long drive to see him.
“I might not be at Knox, but a part of me is,” Davenport said.
“A friend of mine tagged me in an Army wives post," Dodson said. “[The post was from] a woman who had recently lived here and she had moved with her husband to a new duty station. She cried out to any wife who would come out here and take a picture of her son's grave site.”
‘My husband has deployed multiple times and just finished a tour in Korea,” Davenport said. “We can’t stay in one place, and we understand that. As parents, as mothers, you don't have an option where you go, and I had to leave my son.”
That’s when Dodson grabbed her camera and took a series of beautiful pictures of the baby's grave.
“They're going to be printed and put on my walls for sure,” Davenport said.
A group of Army wives threw the baby a birthday party with stuffed animals and little toys around the grave.
“Just embrace [your children] and love them,” Dodson said. “Say you love them every day, because you're not promised tomorrow and neither is your child.”
Although Davenport said the hardest part about being an Army wife is leaving her family behind, the best parts are the friends she meets along the way who have become her family.
“It's very overwhelming,” she said. “I'm very grateful for it.”
For a link to the Facebook page for Jamie Dodson Photography, click here.
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