Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Silly or Sad

There is a lot of excitement on post as Soldiers are starting to trickle home from their 15 month Iraq tours. I can feel a little buzz of anticipation when I talk to the moms from school who are comparing dates and decided whether or not to be optimistic - mid month or end of month? or maybe even earlier! In my neighborhood I've seen lots of updated highlights and fresh haircuts. A little more exercising and a lot more smiles. I have a feeling Victoria's Secret is noticing as well.

Today I helped Emily's 1st grade class decorate pillowcases for returning single soldiers, who won't have family to meet them at the airport. It is part of Operation Headrest. An idea thought of by a wife here, who noticed how sad it can be for those soldiers without loved ones nearby to welcome them home.

I think it's a neat idea, but also a little hokey. I'll admit, the picture book she read to the kids made me tear up (that happens a lot to me), but I have a nagging feeling that a puff-painted pillowcase with "My Hero" (hero spelled wrong) hand written by a 1st grader is maybe not the hero's welcome these guys and girls are hoping for. I could be wrong.

With those pillowcases in mind and the fact that this deployment is ending and a new deployment that affects our family is right around the corner, I've been doing a little how-to-cope research. This may be totally sacrilegious to write, and I may get banned from SpouseBuzz, but there are some really silly (and rather sad, when you think about it - "your dad couldn't make it tonight to your 8th grade graduation because he's out fighting bad guys in Iraq, but do you want me to bring Flat Daddy along for the pictures?") ideas floating around out on teh internets to help support families of troops. And some really good ones (I think I'm going to order a couple soldiers bracelets as stocking stuffers, attractive though certainly not life changing) - but just for tonight, let me list some of the sillier ones, okay?

Take the Daddy doll. Just send in a photo of your loved one in uniform and we will make it into a precious doll. And when you 3 year old misses his daddy, tell her to go snuggle her Daddy Doll. I find that a wee bit disturbing, (though come January I may go out and buy me some iron on transfers...)


Or the Huggee Missee Security Doll fromCuddle Babies. Just slip a photo of your loved one behind the plastic-sleeved face. (nice hair cut, but still odd, though reasonably priced)


Or my personal favorite, and one I'm actually planning to try (mainly because my neighbor has one and I want to be just like her it's kind of cool) creepy though it is - Flat Daddy. It is a full sized cardboard cutout of your very own American Hero. Waist up. Send in his measurements and a color photo and you, too, can have your very own Flat Daddy to bring along to all important events and prop up in family photos! One free per deployment affected family. Or with a little rubber cement and tag board, you could print your own. If I order my free Flat Daddy today, we could get it in February....I'm going to have to get right on that...
I can see myself driving around town with Flat Nate propped up in the passenger seat....

Good thing they offer free, confidential, counseling...

10 comments:

nikko said...

It does seem a little weird to me, too. But, I've never been in that position to have to explain to my kids why their daddy is gone for a whole year.

Hokey and cheesy, but maybe it helps in some little way.

Good for you for being involved!

Deanne said...

Silly or Sad? Both! I love the Flat Daddy, it's hilarious! I would think it would be funny to see a Flat Daddy Nathan in pictures (assuming he is amused by the idea that is).

I'm with you on the puff-paint pillow cases. Isn't there something else that can be done for these soldiers to make them feel appreciated and cared for when they return home???

Tori :) said...

Do the "Flat Mommy's" have b00bs? Just curious.
Wendy, this post made me sad. :( (((HUGS))) to you even though I know that doesn't help.
I'm gonna go cry now. For real. I'm sorry.

Amanda said...

How long is Nate going to be gone? Not that it matters, any length of time is too long! {{{{HUGS}}}} your direction too!

The senior sister missionaries here actually suggested that we make the Daddy dolls as a project for our Super Saturday coming up. Cute idea, but we are not going to do it.

For some reason the half life sized version of Dad just doesn't seem right! I guess the whole version would be too big, but still, from the waist up...

That reminds of my silly stepmom. She had a co-worker give her a blow up life sized man doll. She would put it in her passenger seat and than drive in the car pool lane during rush hour traffic (which if you've ever driven through Denver during rush hour traffice you would understand why she did this!). She only did it once. She said she felt too guilty after that for cheating. lol

um, sorry to take over you comments....

No Cool Story said...

Makes me sad :(
((hugs))


PS: Good post

No Cool Story said...

'K, I'm back.
Sorry, I wasn't ready for that, too emotional.
We talked about our troops last week for FHE, we talked about keeping them in our mind so we'll constantly remember them in our prayers. Firstborn switched his “rocker” wallpaper on his computer to a "our troops" wallpaper.
:)

Laurie said...

Just catching up on blogs. Your pictures are wonderful, especially the ones of Hannah and John. Flat Dad is a little creepy.

BTW, we just watched Sweetland ourselves. I agree it is one of those movies that really stays with you after its finished.

orchard_girl said...

I think in some ways it must be helpful or maybe these companies are preying on emotional people. Maybe you could just draw a face on a balloon and call that dad. If you get upset that the real dad is awa. You can pop the balloon in rage and then blow up another one and start a better relationship.
Heather

Ann M. said...

I remember a while back, there was a submariner's wife who had a big blow up doll or mannequin of her husband that she drove around with, took out to dinner with her...all kinds of stuff. I know we all thought she was crazy but I guess now that deployments are so much longer, her idea doesn't seem so off the wall anymore.

Terina said...

very interesting ideas. as soon as my husband is done with his school, i have no doubt that he will be deployed. i'm trying to prepare myself for it now. although there isn't anything that can really prepare you for it. on the last episode of army wives (yes, i watch it) two of the husbands deployed, and i was crying more than the actresses. probably because it is a real thing for people like me and you and it is just a job for them. i hope his deployment goes by fast. and that he is safe.