NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans high school student had the prom photoshoot of her dreams, even if her on-duty Marine boyfriend couldn't stand by her side.
Skylar Fontaine, 18, is a senior in New Orleans. Her boyfriend, Gage Moak, 19, couldn't take her to prom because he is currently 1,000 miles away training for his Military Occupation Specialty on the East Coast.
Fontaine and Gage have been dating for a year, and met playing soccer. When she learned he wouldn't be home for prom, she had mixed emotions.
"I was upset, but at the same time I support him 100 percent and I'm willing to deal with him being away because he's the one making the ultimate sacrifice," Fontaine said. "I have been with him through this entire process of becoming a Marine, and that has given us a special bond."
Fontaine still wanted to include Gage in the special night, so she enlisted the help of his 2-year-old baby brother Clay.
"I thought this would be a sweet gesture to send to my boyfriend. He is a family man and very sentimental," Fontaine said. "Clay wants to be just like his big brother. I'm very close to him, he is like my own little brother."
Clay, dressed in a Marine uniform identical to his brother's, stepped in as her "date" for her prom photos. The pictures have since gone viral.
Fontaine said Gage and his family were thrilled by the photos.
"I received so much amazing feedback from our friends and family," Fontaine said. "I didn't actually bring him to prom, we just took pictures together then my friends and I headed out!"
She was shocked when the photos went viral, but was even more taken back with the negative feedback from the photos.
"It's been a mixture of emotions, because of the amount of negative and disgusting feedback I have gotten," Fontaine said. "As an 18-year-old, it's hard to deal with thousands of people criticizing you at once. People always have a way to try and ruin a cute story with bad comments."
She said despite the nasty comments she has received, she is more focused on the love and support for her and Gage.
"We aren't sure when he will come home. It may not be until August, Fontaine said. " I have only been able to see him 10 days out of the past five months. It's a new experience to us but we are dealing with it."