16 men in uniform show up at one gender-reveal party—the reason behind it is heartbreaking

Sometimes, out of the depths of tragedy comes a shining spark. For this young widow, who had only been married a month before losing her husband, something very special appeared on her horizon.

Cassie and Ryan Lohrey from North Carolina had only been married one month when tragedy struck the newlyweds on July 10. Whilst on a training mission in Mississippi with the U.S. Navy, Ryan, a Navy corpsman, was killed in a plane crash—along with 15 others. Cassie was devastated.

©Facebook | Cassie Lohrey

“We were just getting our life started together. We wanted a family. We had so many plans and they were just left unfinished,” she said, as reported by PEOPLE. Three weeks later, Cassie discovered she was pregnant with Ryan’s baby.

“I’m very excited and happy to have a piece of him left with me for the rest of my life,” she says. “I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone. I’m overwhelmed with joy and [gratitude].”

©Facebook | Cassie Lohrey

To honor her late husband and ease her pain, Cassie decided on a gender-reveal party on Veterans Day.

Sixteen service members who knew Ryan helped her carry out the celebration—she was sure he would have approved.

©Facebook | SaralynJ Photography

The number 16 took on extra-special significance when Cassie discovered that 16 was the number of people killed in the plane crash on that fateful day.

With the U.S. flag flying in the background, the men lined up on either side of Cassie, and one began the ceremony; “Cassie Lohrey. We do hereby appoint you impregnated by Ryan Lohrey and congratulate you on your soon-to-be new baby…”

©Facebook | SaralynJ Photography

Suddenly, the air exploded with sparkling, pink confetti. Yes, you may have guessed it—the baby waiting to be born to Cassie was a girl!

©Facebook | SaralynJ Photography

“It was a joyous occasion. My emotions were all over the place,” said Cassie. “I was happy, excited and sad because [Ryan] wasn’t there. But more happy than sad because I got a piece of him. A silver lining in this tragic situation.”

©Facebook | SaralynJ Photography

Ryan Jo Lohrey will enter the world in March 2018, and is sure to be a very special baby for Cassie. Ryan Jo will help keep the memory of her lost dad alive.

Moreover, a GoFundMe campaign has been set to help Cassie with her new baby.

©Facebook | Cassie Lohrey

When the story was published online, many people expressed how touched they were, and wished Cassie and her baby all the best.

One user wrote, “Well that didn’t take long for the tears to start rolling. How special.”

“God bless her and their little one…” wrote another.

Watch the video below:

Sources: Associated Press & Fox59 Web, PEOPLE, SaralynJ Photography.

Tear-jerking moment! Baby sees mom for the first time after getting eyeglasses