Cassie and Hospital Corpsman 1st class Ryan Lohrey had been married for just a month when tragedy struck. Thirty year old Ryan died in a military plane crash during training in Mississippi. Speaking to PEOPLE , Cassie recalled the first time she learnt of the tragic news, “I was in shock. We were just getting our life started together. We wanted a family. We had so many plans and they were just left unfinished.”
But a short while later, Cassie experienced some joy in the midst of the tragedy. Just weeks after Ryan’s death, Cassie learned she was pregnant with their first child. “I’m very excited and happy to have a piece of him left with me for the rest of my life. I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone. I’m overwhelmed with joy and grateful.” She said.
When the time to find out her baby’s gender came, Cassie chose to honor her husband during the gender reveal party, vowing to hold the event on Veteran’s Day. She enlisted the help of 16 service members who were Ryan’s friends. Cassie says the number became even more significant when she discovered that exactly 16 people died in the plane crash. Getting the Marine and Navy men together wasn’t difficult though she said. “I contacted one of them and they did it with no hesitation and no questions asked. They said, ‘I’ll take care of it. We’ll get everybody here you need. Anything you want, we’ll do.’ ”She said.
She added, “They’ve been very supportive from the beginning. And ever since the accident they’ve been here for us.” Before making the big reveal, one of the men began an announcement: “Cassie Lohrey. We do hereby appoint you impregnated by Ryan Lohrey and congratulate you on your soon-to-be new baby…” Just then, the men let out a flurry of pink sparkles, revealing that Cassie is having a little girl. Cassie says she plans to name her daughter Ryan Jo.
Cassie said, “It was a joyous occasion. Me emotions were all over the place. I was happy, excited and sad because [Ryan] wasn’t there. But more happy than sad because I got a piece of him. A silver lining in this tragic situation.” A GoFundMe page has been created to help Cassie and her family.