"Kissing the War Goodbye" Photo by Victor Jorgensen, US Navy Photo Journalist | Public Domain
Story by Liesel Schmidt
Recreation Photography by Magdalena Papaiouannou
"The Kiss Project" was created by VIP Alexandria Magazine in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII. The iconic "Kissing the War Goodbye" photo by Victor Jorgensen, US Navy Photo Journalist | Public Domain, was taken in Times Square on August 15, 1945. The recreations of this image were taken in Old Town, Alexandria, VA in May 2020 using real women who are currently serving on two fronts; as Military Spouses and as Nurses fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the story of Becky Dines, RN, BSN
Becoming a nurse is a journey that takes dedication, determination, and can often take a great deal of sacrifice. For countless women and men all over the world, it is a calling that is felt at a young age, giving them a desire to serve and help people who are most in need. It was that very desire to help others that inspired Becky Dines to become a nurse, though her plans were put on hold while she served a four year enlistment in the Air Force after high school. After her time serving her country in uniform was complete, she soon began serving her country in a different capacity—as the spouse of a man in the military.
Still determined to become a nurse, she enrolled in nursing school and was on track to achieving her dream when her younger sister was diagnosed with cancer and given less than six months to live. Once again, Dines put her plans on hold. “I withdrew from the fall semester to go home to be with her,” she recalls. “The nurses that cared for her were amazing people and helped to give my sister the best 'last' moments they could. Before she passed, she told me that I had to finish nursing school and become what I wanted because she wasn't able to herself. I promised her—and myself—that no matter what, I would become the best nurse that I could possibly be and be truly present in every moment with those who needed my care.”
“I consider it an honor to care for others and am so very grateful that they trust me with the most intimate details of their lives at such a vulnerable time. Thank you to my patients for trusting me to care for you! All of you bring such profound meaning to my life, and my moments helping you overcome whatever challenges you face is a true honor for me.”
The road ahead would certainly not follow a straight line, as being a military spouse meant multiple moves and multiple separations due to deployments. Still, Dines made the most of it, using long separations to throw herself headlong into pursuing her nursing degree. More than a decade after the journey began, she received her degree and applied to Medstar Georgetown University Hospital after her husband received orders to the Pentagon. Now a bedside nurse, Becky Dines, RN, BSN initially specialized in orthopedic and limb salvage services, but has since expanded to urology, neurosurgery, neurology, general surgery, internal medicine and transplant patients.