A photo featuring a 12-day old infant along with a photo of his father and his father’s Gideon Service Testament has generated an enormous amount of online sentiment.
The infant in the photo is Landon Carpenter. His father, Andy, shown in the framed photo next to him, made the ultimate sacrifice in March while serving in the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.
Within days of being posted to the Seal of Honor page on Facebook, the photo received tens of thousands of “Likes” and comments. To date, the photo has received over 135 thousand “Likes” and more than 34 thousand comments.
We recently contacted Landon’s mother, Crissie, who is LCPL Andy Carpenter’s widow. She has been very touched by the public response to her baby Landon’s photo.
“It is pretty incredible seeing the response to the photo. For those who have been moved by the photo, I just want to say thank you for taking that time out and remembering those sacrifices that are made by so many families,” says Crissie. “The main reason I wanted to have this photo taken was to have a picture of Landon with his father.
“I wish I could tell you how Andy got his Gideon Testament, but I do not know. But I do know that he liked to take it with him to training when he had to be out in the field for a while. I remember when I found it with some of his belongings, it was in a Ziploc bag that protected it from weather damage, I assume. And, one of the cool things about it was he had our wedding announcement in it as a bookmark.
“God is definitely a huge part of my life and was a huge part of Andy’s life as well. When Andy and I got married and I moved to North Carolina, where he was stationed, to be with him, I wanted us to go to church every Sunday that we could. I always had told myself, ‘when I marry, I want to make sure God plays a huge role in our marriage and family.’
“Andy was a wonderful man and was very humble about things. He believed in God totally and was a great role model to everyone around him,” she adds. “I know that his relationship had grown with God because I could tell.”
Marcia Truitt of Inara Studios in Nashville, TN is the professional photographer who shot the photo. She too is amazed by the photograph’s popularity.
“When I arranged and took this photograph I never imagined anyone but Crissie’s family would see it and understand its deep sorrow,” Marcia told us. “I am so humbled that it has touched so many lives and I only hope that it continues to bless those that see it.
“Landon’s mother brought all of her husband’s things which had just been shipped back to the U.S.,” says Marcia. “She requested that we capture them in an image with Landon and this is how we laid them out. I found the size comparison of how tiny baby Landon looked next to his father’s boots to be very striking.”
The loss of her husband has given Mrs. Carpenter a great appreciation for the brevity of life. And she has words of wisdom to share with the rest of us.
“We never know when our last breath will be,” says Crissie. “What happened to Andy is something I never thought would happen to us. But, it did. Don’t take things for granted. I want every person out there to thank the good Lord up above for what they have in this life and who they have. Look at that person and tell them you love them. Hold your children and enjoy them and let them know every day how much you love them.”
We thank Crissie for allowing us to share this very touching photograph and story with you.
And we thank our members, donors and other supporters. It is your support that helped make it possible to place this Gideon Service Testament into a young serviceman’s hands before he went home to be with the Lord.