22 November 2006

The even thinner red line

'It may sound like a wind-up, but it isn't. The US National Guard has hit upon the idea of providing the families of servicemen with life-size cut-out photographs of their loved ones to help them through the strains of an overseas deployment. The scheme is called Flat Daddies. Feel free to take a moment.

...more than 200 life-size replicas of absent soldiers have been printed and distributed to their families. Some families have become utterly attached to their Flat Daddies, seating them at the dinner table and propping them up at barbecues. Mary Holbrook thought nothing of taking a life-size replica of her husband, LtCol Randall Holbrook, to her gynaecologist.

"He just thought it was really neat," Holbrook said, meaning her gynaecologist, not the LtCol.

Michael Hughesman, a psychologist who works with the families of British servicemen on deployment [said] 'We would encourage families to keep normal-sized photos prominently available ... but we've not come across the idea of Flat Daddies[...] I know it would draw a few sucked-in cheeks from some of our military folk'

- Guardian Weekly, 15 September 2006 (edited for length)

[Here's the official website]

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