On a recent trip to Bowling Green State University for speech for the Sebo Entrepreneurship Series, I met the guys behind Flat Daddies. This is a very cool service that provides full-size printed posters of parents who are serving overseas in the military.
Sergeant First Class Barbara Claudel of the Maine National Guard came up with the idea as a way to help families stay connected to their loved ones serving in Iraq. Flatdaddies.com was created by SFC Graphics and Sergeant Claudel to help meet the demands of families outside of her home state of Maine.
Please spread the word if you know families who have loved ones serving in the military.
While the “flat daddy” idea is definitely cool, and I’m sure largely appreciated, there is another angle on it.
See the NYT article April 8, 2007, titled: MODERN LOVE; A Father on Poster Board Just Won’t Do
By ALISON BUCKHOLTZ
It’s a powerful piece from the heart that articulates the journey of children and wife from the sudden joy of having flat daddy around, to the nuanced sadness and even resentment and anger that a cardboard “daddy” is, after all, a fake, a lie, to cover up the fact that the real daddy is not home. Flat Daddy is not an emotionally simple idea.
Her piece is not anti-flat-daddy, but it does seem like before anyone jumps into it, they might want to read this piece.
This is an awesome name! Where did it come from? I get the “daddy” part…
I’m not going to comment on the war in Iraq in this blog. However, Guy Kawasaki posted today about a service I think is a great idea. It’s called Flat
That’s a wonderful things for the troops, hats off to them.
I wonder if the idea for the name came from the current “Flat” craze that is sweeping elementary schools in the US.
“Flat Stanley” is the name of a character in a children’s book by Jeff Brown written in 1964.
The Flat Stanley Project has school children writing letters to other kids and sending flat Stanley to them so they can document in pictures and journals what places around the world they took him.
More here: http://www.flatstanley.com/ amd here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Stanley
I think this is awesome! Regarding the emotional impact, it seems like the other spouse (mom) has the responsibility to put the object into perspective… don’t you think?
CEO – JibberJobber.com
These daddy’s would be playing with their sons if it was’nt for the US-government.
US (and Guy…) wake up.
With all due respect, Guy – this is pathetic – or just simply sad, at best.
Could you please ellaborate a bit on why you would like your readers to spread the word about this kind of initiative?
I could go either way on this. I think it is an interesting idea that some might find very useful. Even if you disagree with THIS war there will be times when the military are overseas for good reason and then these might help. I agree also with those who think the best thing to do would be to get their daddies (and mommies) back…
Why do people confuse supporting a war and supporting people who are just doing their jobs? Of course a cardboard copy of someone’s loved one is not a replacement for the real thing. I applaud companies who attempt to provide any type of service to help families stay connected. Only people who are in the situation can say if this is worthwhile. I really don’t think the creator of Flat Daddy really thought he was saying, “This war is great, here’s a picture of your parent while they are away.” It seems very unpolitical and thoughtful.
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Having to do a job that takes you away from your kids Stinks- anything to let them know you care and you want to stay connected is good. If you have never been in this postion you can’t judge- Pictures not matter what the size are Good they remind you your loved. I like the idea !