On August 2, 2017, one week after learning that his wife Britt was expecting their first child, Army Specialist Chris Harris was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan. He and Britt had been married for less than a year before he was deployed.
Chris, an only child, called his fellow soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division his "brothers."
"They were his family," Britt told Good Morning America. "Everyone that I’ve met, before Chris passed and after, if they’re in the military, they’ve treated me like actual family or royalty, actually."
Determined to keep the soldiers from Chris’s Fort Bragg-based unit close to their child, back in October, Britt asked them if they’d like to be the first to know the baby’s gender. After receiving a resounding “yes,” she arranged for a surprise reveal at their base in Afghanistan.
The soldiers filmed themselves opening the case of poppers she shipped from her home in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In a now-viral video, the camo-clad men cheered as a shower of pink confetti washed over them.
They were having a girl. They all were.
A few months went by, and Christian Michelle Harris was born on March 17,2018—the day Chris’s unit returned home. The 6lb., 5oz baby girl bears her father’s name and his blue eyes.
"It's refreshing to see those blue eyes again," Britt told ABC 13.
Remembering Specialist Harris with a very special reunion. ❤️
Posted by Pinehurst Photography on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
In the photos, Christian wears her dad’s dog tags and a onesie that reads “My daddy, my hero.” One particularly stunning shot shows the soldiers standing in a circle and holding Christian in the palms of their hands as she lays looking up at the camera with her dad’s piercing blue eyes.
"When she was born, it was like I was looking at my own son," Chris’s mother, Sue Kolean, told ABC 13.
Chills. All the chills.