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Fort Lewis spouse a calendar girl

Group sends packages to soldiers plus a little extra

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A woman draped in an American flag leaving just enough skin showing to capture some attention isn’t the typical image of a Fort Lewis wife one pictures, but Paige Teakell is proud of the work she does to support the troops.

Teakell, also known as Cherry Lane, and two other friends are the three founding members of Pinup Angels, a group of women who send care packages full of goodies to troops overseas plus an added bonus — a pinup of one of the 15 angels decked out in a revealing outfit.  

These photos, which are sold to help cover the costs for the care packages, are reminiscent of posters troops hung in their barracks during the World War II era.

The Pinup Angels from Washington, California and elsewhere pick their own costumes and do their own hair and makeup for the photos, which are taken by photographers donating their services.

“We keep our pictures classy, not trashy,” Teakell says. “We don’t show a lot of skin — just like they did in the World War II era.”

The idea for Pinup Angels came to Teakell, 29, and a friend, Robyn Kendall (aka Miss Kitty Baby), when Teakell’s husband, a combat medic with the 1-14th Cavalry, was injured in Iraq. Both ladies had always supported the troops but wanted to do more, according to Teakell. Another friend from California, Laura Dunn (aka Lola Dee), jumped on board and Pinup Angels was formed. 

Members of the group, which just started a few months ago, are working to get nonprofit status. “It’s a long process,” Teakell explains, adding that the “goal is to support as many units/troops as possible by sending care packages out every month to soldiers who really need to get mail.” 

Pinup Angels prefer to send pinup pictures to single soldiers and don’t send them to married soldiers without prior consent. Most of the time, Teakell notes, soldiers themselves ask Pinup Angels to send packages to them or their comrades.

She is surprised by the overwhelming response the group has received. During a recent meet-and-greet event in Everett, Teakell says, Pinup Angels collected enough items to send close to 250 care packages to deployed troops for Christmas. The original goal was 100 packages, but it didn’t take long for them to exceed that.

Being a Pinup Angel isn’t all about dressing up and taking fun photos for the troops; it’s a lot of hard work, according to Teakell, who lives on Fort Lewis.

The group has 15 angels right now, she says, and two more women will be accepted each year through an application process. “We really want to make sure the people that are volunteering for this actually have time to do fund-raisers, stuff care packages and want to submit photos,” Teakell says. “They have to do all the work.”

Teakell’s husband, Larry, has been extremely supportive of the work she does. “He just loves it,” she says. “He’s very proud.”

The Teakells are being relocated to Oklahoma in February, but Pinup Angels will continue, according to Teakell. “We’re going to do this as long as soldiers need support.” 

Photos can be purchased here.

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