Pin-ups For Vets heads out to sea for 2019 calendar

Eric Dehm
December 14, 2018 - 10:24 am

Photo courtesy Pin-ups For Vets

With the nose-art of WW2 aircraft as her inspiration, model and actress Gina Elise came up with a unique way to raise money for veterans. She produced the first Pin-ups For Vets calendar in 2006 and, thanks in large part to the throwback style envisioned by it's founder, it was an immediate hit.

Photo courtesy Gina Elise

Now in its 13th edition, the calendar continues to make waves by raising spirits, and funds, within the veteran community. Since the initial calendar was released, nearly $60,000 in medical equipment has been donated to the VA, along with calendars sent to deployed troops, and 66 in person visits by the models to VA facilities in the US and abroad. 

For this year's calendar Elise decided to take 19 lovely ladies out to sea, kind of, by holding the photo shoot on board the permanently docked Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. While the ship currently serves as a hotel, it has a military history that Elise says made for a perfect and unique setting for the shoot.

Photo courtesy Pin-ups For Vets

"It was a cruise liner converted to be a troop transport ship during World War II and it carried over 800,000 troops," Elise tells ConnectingVets. "So I thought it would be an interesting juxtaposition to have our veterans of today pose on the same ship that carried all those troops."

The new setting naturally led to a specifically nautical theme, but with each year's new setting, the one thing Elise has kept in place is the general formula. 2019 is no different, with veteran models including Army vet and Mrs. New York 2018 Patti Gomez, USMC vet and endurance athlete Kirstie Ennis, and Navy vet and actress Jennifer Marshall. And, of course, the models once again dressed in a WWII-era style, with many rocking the "Victory Curls" hairstyle popular at the time. 

Photo courtesy Pin-ups For Vets

While some might blush at the thought of having a calendar of "pin-ups" in the current climate, Elise says she has no interest in producing something that could be considered inappropriate, or even salacious. Instead, she aims for historical accuracy to display the simple beauty of a bygone era. 

"I'm very particular about the look of the calendar," Elise says. "I try to honor the aesthetic of the 1940s and so it's very classy and office friendly."

Photo courtesy Pin-ups For Vets

With the 2019 calendar complete, and available for purchase online, Elise is now focused on the 2020 calendar, and says she will soon be putting out a casting notice for models on social media platforms in the spring. 

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