Many of our brave men and women serving will not get to spend the holidays with their families. They aren't able to run home for birthdays, anniversaries or any other life event. The families they leave behind when deployed find it difficult to be without them - especially the kids. They start forgetting what mommy or daddy looks like. Well no more!

There is a new company that is giving soldier's families the chance to keep them close throughout their deployment. It's called Flat Daddy or Flat Mommy. It is the brainchild of Sgt. 1st Class Barbara Claudel of the Maine National Guard. You send them a picture and they will make it life sized so you can mount it to

cardboard, wood or whatever and it will give you the sense that your soldier is right there with you.

Many families have even taken their flat daddies shopping, on vacation or to bed as comfort. They pose with the flat daddy or flat mommy for birthdays, holidays or other occasions, snap the picture and then share it with their soldier. It's a great idea and isn't very expensive. Each Flat Daddy or Flat Mommy costs $49.50. You can order yours at