Marines sacrifice a lot as they protect and serve our nation. In the United States, anyone over the age of 16 can join the military, and many brave people serve our country for a number of years before pursuing a career in another field.
One of these people is 29-year-old Shannon Ihrke, from Minnesota, pictured in the middle of the photograph below. Shannon joined the military when she was just 19 years old and spent four years on active duty before retiring from service. As a young woman, Shannon revealed that she had to work hard to prove that she was able to make the cut for the military, which puts its recruits through physically and mentally draining training. She subsequently landed a job as an administrative specialist. After leaving the military, Shannon decided to pursue a different career, and now she is making waves around the world as a model. Her time in the military left her with a jaw-dropping physique and she is featured below showing it off for a photoshoot.
As a result of her incredible looks and past, Shannon’s photographs have now gone viral online.
“I want to show girls that they can do and be whoever they want to be if they work at it hard enough,” she said. Having spent so long working in a very unglamourous environment, Shannon absolutely loves working as a model. In some of her most recent sizzling photographs, she can be seen modeling a very sensual lace lingerie ensemble.
“I love getting my hair and make-up done! What girl doesn’t want to be pampered once in a while? Doing shoots like these give me an opportunity to let another side of me come out,” she said. “Being able to explore that sexy side of me is fun to do once in a while, and I think every woman deserves to have an opportunity to get all done up and treated like a queen.”
“When the shoots are done by professionals and there’s a great team of creative energy, it allows you to comfortably enjoy bringing out that inner sultry side.”
Shannon said that her decision to join the military earlier in life was the best decision she ever made.
“I pushed my body harder than I could have ever imagined and I learned to remain calm and collected in the midst of chaos. I became part of something that was bigger than myself and I loved it,” she said. When asked why she decided to join the forces, she said, “Some Marines fight for our politicians, but most, do not. We fight for our families, our friends, and most of all – for our brothers and sisters to the left and right of us in uniform.”
“We join for the people that fought before us, the people that will fight after us, and even the ignorant people that don’t know how to be quiet when our National Anthem plays.” Shannon’s photographs have attracted so much attention online that she now boats an incredible 75K plus Instagram followers. What’s more is that she’s been offered money for “private photos” and even received a few marriage proposals.
Her policy, however, is to ignore these requests. But Shannon is not the only veteran who has proven that she has an enviable physique after service. Michael Stokes, a fine arts photographer in California, decided that he wanted to showcase the fact that wounded veterans can still be confident and sexy. “Some people will say to me ‘Oh, this is really helpful to their self-esteem,’ or, ‘You’re making them feel like men again,’” Stokes told MTV. “These guys have come to me very healed and ready to take the world on. I’m not giving them back their confidence. They already have it.” Stokes’ photographs became so popular that people wanted to see A LOT more of them. So they crowdfunded over half a million dollars to enable him to create a book. It was titled Always Loyal and featured male and female veterans. Thanks to the book’s success, Stokes was able to donate $20,000 to the Semper FI Fund, a charity that benefits wounded warriors.
“I had one vet who was very severely injured and he had to take some time to sit on them before publishing them. He said he just wasn’t used to seeing himself like that. But after two weeks, the vet gave [me] the OK – and was glad that he did,” Stokes revealed.
“He was shocked by the response – people telling him how sexy he was, how beautiful he was, that he’s a hero. He was genuinely shocked and surprised.”