Teen's prom dress pays tribute to fallen Marines: 'I don't want them to fade into nothing'

An Illinois teen turned her prom night into an opportunity to honor fallen servicemen.

Aubrey Headon, a student at Rochelle Township High School in Rochelle, Ill., told Yahoo Lifestyle that she spent two years planning a prom dress that would serve as a tribute to the military. The royal blue halter-neck gown echoes the American flag with its design, which features an embellished bodice and waistband. Her skirt is adorned with red and white ribbons bearing the names of 25 members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, known also as 3/5 or Darkhorse.

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Blind Massachusetts girl gets special prom
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Blind Massachusetts girl gets special prom
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, dances with her friend Maddy Wilson (R) at the Chelsea High School Prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, and her mother Jennifer (L) pick out a prom dress for Precious at Tammi's Closet in Amesbury, Massachusetts, United States April 17, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, spends time in her bedroom with her cousin Janelly Matos (R) before Precious' prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez (R), 18, who has been blind since birth, walks to a hair salon with her mother Jennifer in preparation for her prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 19, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, sits for a pedicure in preparation for her prom at a nail salon in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 19, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, her cousin Janelly Matos (C) and their friend Trista Ward (L) buy candy and snacks at a convenience store before Precious' prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez (C), 18, who has been blind since birth, gets her hair done by Yubelquis Beato (2nd R), while her brother J.J. (L) plays a video game and her mother Jennifer (R) looks on, in preparation for Precious' prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 19, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, her cousin Janelly Matos (C) and their friend Trista Ward (L) walk home after buying candy and snacks at a convenience store before Precious' prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, has her hair done by her aunt Norma Gonzalez (R) as Precious gets dressed for prom at her home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S. May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, gets a kiss from her mother Jennifer at her home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States before going to prom May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, gets her dress and hair adjusted by her aunt Norma Gonzalez (L) and her mother Jennifer (R) as she prepares for her prom at her home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, models the prom dress for her mother Jennifer (L) at Tammi's Closet in Amesbury, Massachusetts, United States April 17, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, talks to her father Jonathan (L) as she prepares for prom at her home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, and her friend Maddy Wilson (L) walk to a car on their way to Precious' prom in Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, and her friend Maddy Wilson (R) arrive for the Chelsea High School prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, and her friend Maddy Wilson (R) make ice cream sundaes at the Chelsea High School prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, and her friend Maddy Wilson (R) eat ice cream sundaes at the Chelsea High School prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, who has been blind since birth, dances with her friend Maddy Wilson (R) at the Chelsea High School Prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Precious Perez, 18, who has been blind since birth, sits at a table at the Chelsea High School Prom in Boston, Massachusetts, United States May 21, 2016. Precious Perez slipped into her full-length strapless prom gown and said it made her feel like storybook royalty, an experience shared by many of her peers at high schools across the United States. Blind since birth, Perez, could not see the dress's mint green colour, but said that didn't limit her ability to enjoy the formal dance, a common rite of passage for American teens. REUTERS/Brian Snyder SEARCH "PRECIOUS PEREZ" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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Between September 2010 and April 2011, 25 of the battalion’s Marines were killed in action in the Sangin District in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Meeting the mother of Alec Catherwood, one of the fallen Marines, inspired Headon to do “something special” in his memory.

“It all started when I met one of the Gold Star moms, Gretchen Catherwood,” Headon told Yahoo Lifestyle. “She started the Darkhorse Lodge to help combat veterans. I do a fundraiser every year to donate to the lodge.”

Last weekend’s prom gave her the opportunity to show some sartorial support.

“I wanted to wear this tribute dress [to] my senior prom so the memories of the guys who fell in Afghanistan for our right to live how we do and do what we do every day is carried on,” the teen said. “I don’t want them to fade into nothing.”

But not all of the ribbons are red and white. A black ribbon hanging from the middle of Headon’s skirt reads “Tyler Smith.” Smith, a member of the Illinois Army National Guard who graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 2014, died in September in what has been ruled a drowning.

Headon said she’s been flooded with messages of support since her mother posted footage of her dress on social media.

“The biggest response has been from Gold Star families, thanking me for remembering their loved ones,” she shared.

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Dateless teen takes cat to prom
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Dateless teen takes cat to prom
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