Flat Daddies

Via Warren, this is one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard.

The Maine National Guard is giving life-size from-the-waist-up pictures of soldiers to the families of deployed guard members. Guard officials and families say the cutouts, known as Flat Daddies or Flat Soldiers, connect families with a relative who is thousands of miles away. The Flat Daddies are toted everywhere from soccer practice to coffee shops to weddings.

Ashton Gardner, 6, of Ellsworth, Me., with a cutout of his father, Troy, who is stationed in Iraq.

Fuck. So many horrible thoughts are coursing all at once. What if Flat Daddy (or Flat Mommy, or Flat Big Brother) comes back in a box? What if Flat Daddy comes back with both of his legs missing, looking far too much like that truncated cut-out? And mostly, why the hell are people having to suffer through the despair and anxiety of missing a loved one who’s been put in harm’s way for a war of choice?

Bring the troops home. Bring them home now.

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