The paper parent
(Bridget Brown/ Bangor Daily News via Associated Press)
Logan, 3, and Justin Holbrook, 14, rode to dinner
with the life-size cutout of their father, Lieutenant
Colonel Randall Holbrook, a Maine National Guardsman
from Hermon, Maine.
Guard families cope in two dimensions
`Flat Daddy' cutouts ease longing
By Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff | August 30, 2006
Maine National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan are never far from the thoughts of their loved ones.
But now, thanks to a popular family-support program, they're even closer.
Welcome to the ``Flat Daddy" and ``Flat Mommy" phenomenon, in which life-size cutouts of deployed service members are given by the Maine National Guard to spouses, children, and relatives back home.
The Flat Daddies ride in cars, sit at the dinner table, visit the dentist, and even are brought to confession, according to their significant others on the home front.
``I prop him up in a chair, or sometimes put him on the couch and cover him up with a blanket," said Kay Judkins of Caribou, whose husband, Jim, is a minesweeper mechanic in Afghanistan. ``The cat will curl up on the blanket, and it looks kind of weird. I've tricked several people by that. They think he's home again."
At the request of relatives, about 200 Flat Daddy and Flat Mommy photos have been enlarged and printed at the state National Guard headquarters in Augusta. The families cut out the photos, which show the Guard members from the waist up, and glue them to a $2 piece of foam board.
Sergeant First Class Barbara Claudel, the state family-support director who began the program, said the response from Guard families has been giddily enthusiastic.
It's ok to read this and cry, right?
posted by Steve @ 10:06:00 AM