It is one of the hardest things about being a military family. How to cope when a husband and father, or wife and mother, is posted abroad, especially to combat zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan.
Now the United States army has come up with a bizarre solution: Flat Daddy and Flat Mommy.
Many military units can provide families with a life-size cardboard cutout of their overseas warrior. The family can then take that figure to parties, put it in the passenger seat of their car, take it to bed or do whatever it is that families want to with a replica of their loved one....
From there the idea took off and has been adopted by units across America. They can be found going on dates with their wives in Alaska and having dinner with their families in Colorado.
Experts believe the cutouts are a useful psychological device, especially for children, that helps cope with the stress of long absences. It allows the family to genuinely feel the missing person is still involved in day-to-day life. [emphasis mine]
That's just weird. And kinda sad.
i wonder how much money it's costing them to do this and how many suits of body armor it might translate into.