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Friday, September 01, 2006

from Jesus' General: Flat Daddies [in Maine]

Sometimes 3-year-old Meagan wants to get a big hug from Daddy and sit on his lap. Her brother, Josh, age 8, wants to go fishing with Dad to show him how far he can cast his line these days. Unfortunately, Meagan and Josh have to wait, because Daddy is in Iraq defending America from Godless Islamofacism.

It's too bad their daddy isn't isn't serving in the Maine National Guard. If he was, Meagan could cuddle with a cardboard cut-out of her father, and Josh, after carefully wrapping him in Saran Wrap could take his "flat daddy" to his favorite fishing hole just like the children of Maine guardsmen do:

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.

I think it's a great idea. Sure, Flat Daddy and Flat Mommy may be unresponsive, but children miss a parent desperately when he or she is gone. The same is true of spouses. Any form of contact, even if it's with a battered old piece of cardboard, helps to fill the painful emptiness. More importantly, it helps younger children to remember the parent, so that when mommy or daddy returns, she or he doesn't seem so much like a stranger.

I'm wondering if Our Leader should consider doing something similar. A lot of people think he doesn't care about the men and women who are defending us against Islamic enslavement. They wonder why he has time for vacations (a whole year's worth of vacation time in the first five years of his presidency) but is unable to free himself for a few hours to attend a soldier's funeral a stones's throw across the Potomac at Arlington.

It doesn't have to be that way. With a dozen or so Flat Deciders™, he could attend nearly every soldier's funeral. I doubt most people would even notice that he's only a cardboard cut-out. Indeed, the fact that the Flat Decider™ is merely a cold, heartless, two-dimensional rendition of a real human being is what makes it so realistic. Add the optional Pull-My-Finger™ fun kit, and no one will be able to tell the difference. posted by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot | 1:36 AM  

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