Photo of breastfeeding El Paso soldiers garners global attention
A group photo showing women soldiers breastfeeding their babies at a military base in El Paso went viral this week. In the picture, 10 mothers in camouflage uniforms hold 10 hungry babies to their chests.
El Paso photographer Tara Ruby took the picture at Fort Bliss Army base with the intention of donating it as decoration for a room recently reserved for breastfeeding soldiers.
“The room is intended so they can have a private area to go and pump their breast milk and then they have a refrigerator so they can store it,” Ruby said…
She shared the photo on her professional Facebook page late one evening, but when she looked the next morning, it had disappeared. Ruby reposted the photo and it has since been shared around the world, picked up by CNN, Time, the BBC and many others. Facebook has not responded to questions about what happened to the photo.
Meanwhile, Ruby said it’s stirred discussion about a lack of accommodations for nursing Army moms.
The Army is the only military branch that doesn’t have a policy on breastfeeding, according to a column in the Army Times written this year by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. She’s trying to change that with an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that’s currently stalled in Congress.
Best bumper sticker I’ve seen this week said REPLACE CONGRESS. On the back of a van belonging to a recent Emmy winner no less. OTOH, I still believe electoral politics is useful for mobilizing public opinion if nothing else. Go for it, folks.
I know we have ignoranus congress-critters who don’t comprehend the health and cultural values of breastfeeding. Cripes, they’re elected – no doubt – by fools who don’t comprehend evolution, science or democracy. In a state of permanent intellectual constipation, I don’t expect the peabrains in that crowd to change. But, pressure can be brought to bear on officials who try at a modicum of understanding of progress and reality.