The Beauty Revived magazine featuring 50 Beautiful Mothers is out!! You can learn more about it and purchase it here.
I am so honored to be one of the 50 photographers featured in the magazine! I photographed my friend Lissette with her daughter. Here is her story, with some of the pictures!
Lissette Barril was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and moved to Texas in 1995. She joined the United States Air Force when she was eighteen. “When September 11th happened,” Lissette recalls, “I made up my mind then and there that I was going to serve my country.”
Lissette worked in an Aircraft Maintenance squadron, where she directly aided the command section. She also worked with Boeing to assist with the aircraft maintenance software with the F-15E and F-15C fighter jets. “My proudest moment was when I was lauded by Boeing for being an extraordinary airman. I transitioned all software for 850 personnel within two weeks.”
After Lissette left the military, she had a beautiful daughter, Tatiana. Then she began to experience the struggles of transitioning to civilian life. “I got married and ended up in a physically abusive relationship and became homeless and an alcoholic.” She found herself living out of her car with her daughter. Tatiana became her inspiration to keep moving forward and pursue a better life for them both. Lissette recovered from alcoholism and always made time to volunteer for veterans’ organizations. “I fought through all the adversity and finally moved into a nice townhome and started going to school.”
Lissette is now a full-time student, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. “I want to eventually find alternative treatments for vets, other than medication.”
Her passion for improving the lives of veterans is a major part of her life. “I try to help out as much as I can. If there are opportunities to do something that will directly impact a veteran’s life, I am down for it.” Lissette is an events coordinator for Twenty-Two Until None, a non-profit organization that aims to end veteran suicide one step at a time. An average of twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. This group supports struggling veterans by offering emergency financial assistance, VA benefits help, advocacy, wellness services, camaraderie, and a 24/7 crisis hotline. “The reason I stand for the 22 is because I don’t want any other veterans, especially females, to go through the same horrible transitioning experience that I went through. My oath did not end when the uniform came off. I will continue to strive to help veterans each and every day, in any way I can.” She has found joy in working with veterans and has made many great friends along the way. “I love coordinating events that bring veterans together. It brings the sense of camaraderie that we used to have in the service.”
When Lissette is not studying or advocating for veterans, she spends her time with her daughter, who is now six years old. “My daughter is a firecracker who loves to have adventures. She zip-lined at the age of three and still looks for more thrills. She takes gymnastics and is very good at it.” Lissette hopes that Tatiana will fulfill her dreams, no matter what they are. “Happiness comes from moments and doing what you love to do. I will be there for most of those moments.”