It was a bittersweet phone call. Would I like to do an assignment for Newsweek?- saying yes but knowing it would be one of the last print editions of the storied magazine that I grew up with. I still remember the first time I noticed it in our house and started reading it. We were living in Bahrain at the time and I was ten and felt I should become better acquainted with the news. “Newsweek” seemed like a better option for that than “People,” which I had previously been enjoying.
This assignment was something I could sink my teeth into. I’d get to go to Quantico and work with a legendary writer (Gail Sheehy, who brought us Grey Gardens among other classics) to tell the story of US Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tee Hanible. I’ve wanted to share this particular shoot on my blog for a while now, but the timing seems particularly good now given the recent lift of the ban on women in combat. Of course some people will roll their eyes and say women have been de facto front-line warriors for some time now, but it is wrong to understate the historical significance of the world’s most powerful military officially sanctioning this. It is a big deal. GySgt Hanible and other women like her have worked and sacrificed for so long now, often balancing dual roles that many find to be at odds- mother and servicewoman. My own mother was essentially driven out of the Coast Guard in the 1970s when she became pregnant with my brother. To see GySgt Hanible in her uniform, spending time with her beautiful family, represented to me the sea change that has occurred in the past 40 years in not just the US military, but the nation as well. Read the article here. Two daughters, lucky to have a real role model for a mother. Jasmine admitted to us that sometimes, when her mother is away, she goes into her mother’s closet and puts on her uniform.