Photo of Ft. Bliss Soldiers Breastfeeding Goes Viral, Sparks Controversy
When El Pasoan Tara Ruby heard that a room solely for nursing moms was being built at Fort Bliss, she recalled what it was like when she served in the Air Force from 1997 to 2001, and how she had to make do with whatever empty office she could find the privacy to pump in while in uniform.
So as a sign of support for nursing moms in the military, Ruby offered her skills as a professional photographer to help decorate the room’s bare walls. “I thought it would be nice to have a uniformed soldier breastfeeding portrait to hang in the room,” she told The Huffington Post.
After getting the approval of the Fort Bliss Public Affairs and Garrison Command, Ruby enlisted the help of a Fort Bliss support group for mothers and found 10 active duty soldiers willing to model for her – boots, babies, and all. The resulting photo has since gone viral on Facebook with over 11,000 “likes” and almost 9,000 “shares” as of this posting.
But the photo hasn’t been without controversy.
Facebook itself even deleted the photo from her wall initially, but Tara reposted it the following day, and there it has remained since. While the majority of the social media comments have been supportive, there are a number of detractors who find the women being in uniform “disgusting” and “unprofessional.”
Per CBS4, no policy exists preventing women from nursing in full uniform as long as "professional standards" are maintained.