Who's your Flat Daddy? 2D proxies of deployed troops ease pain

The Army National Guard is providing life-sized photo replicas of deployed service members to families as a way to ease the pain of separation. So far, the Guard has paid for large-sized photo prints of 100 troop members. Families receive supplies to attach the photo to a foam board. Cutouts are also provided to parents and family members of childless service members. Snip:

Lt. Col. Randall Holbrook travels just about everywhere with his wife Mary and their two sons, Justin, 14, and Logan, 5.

He’s quietly in the background on family outings to the grocery store, to restaurants, camping, even on Mary’s most recent visit to her gynecologist.

Randall has little to say because he’s a ‘‘Flat Daddy,’’ a two-dimensional foam board likeness from the waist up of the Maine Army National Guard officer from Hermon who was sent to Afghanistan in January with the 240th Engineer Group of Augusta.

Link, alternate link. Image: Bridget Brown / Bangor Daily News via AP. "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." (Thanks, Bonnie and DL)

Reader comment: George Murray says,

Can you think of anything more likely to royally fuck a kid up for life than a cardboard cutout of their father in a forced rictus grin? I mean, it would be like perpetually having that scary clown from Poltergeist following you everywhere. Look at the face of the kid on the left. That boy is headed into the arms of a soon-to-be-wealthy therapist. What happens when junior falls down and breaks his arm and flat daddy is still smiling? What happens when the kid spills grapejuice on flat daddy and flat daddy starts to warp and peel? What happens when flat daddy gets bent at the neck and his head starts to loll like overcooked asparagus? Soooo fuuuucked uuuup.