In the film “Flat Daddy” by Nara Garber and Betsy Nagler, you will enter the lives of the Bugbee, Stephens, Winter and Ramirez Vance families. “Flat Daddy” is much more than a film about life like cut outs of a military childs’ deployed parent used to comfort them during a deployment. You will get a firsthand look into the emotional highs and lows these families will be faced with, brought on by long deployments the military lifestyle demands.
While serving in the Air Force, I deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch for a 4 month deployment. This deployment ended June 2001, just before the tragedies of 9/11. When 9/11 took place, the length of a deployment was roughly around 4to 6 months. However, once the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, the length of deployments would double, and 12 month deployments would become the new norm. For me, serving in the Security Forces, that 4 month deployment in the sandbox far away from home was more than enough. Unlike the veterans in the film, I didn’t leave behind a wife or kids, nor did I see combat.
In “Flat Daddy“, a marriage will lose its lust, grandparents will take over the role as mother and father, the bond between husband and wife will grow stronger, children will become desensitized to missing a parent in the household, but worse of all, one family will get the news all military families fear. For the families who wait back home for the return of their loved ones, and for the soldiers deployed, the deployment will be an emotional roller coaster no one can imagine. It’ll be bittersweet midway into the deployment for these families as they are awarded only 15 days for “Rest & Relaxation.”
“Flat Daddy” by Nara Garber and Betsy Nagler is a film that brings us real and honest stories of not just these military families, but all military families. Deployments for a military family have never been an easy task to get through. Support, not only within the military community, but also in the civilian sector has and will continue to help those families in need. I urge organizations working with military families to take notice of this film, because getting an inside look into the lives of these families bring us one step closer to really understanding what they truly go through.
In Memory of Army Spc. Ignacio (Nacho) Ramirez
Special Thanks to Producer Nara Garber.