Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith is getting ready to spend his first Christmas away from his 3-year-old daughter, and a special holiday card is helping to bridge the gap.
According ABC News, Smith is a nearly 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His wife Andrea Smith and daughter Charlotte plan to spend Christmas in the U.S., while he serves overseas.
Andrea and Charlotte are currently stationed in North Carolina while Andrew is abroad, WCSH reports. Andrea said the deployment is particularly hard on Charlotte, who’s “such a daddy’s girl.”
The family got creative with their Christmas card this year, which Andrea shared on Facebook. It shows Andrea and Charlotte at Target. The Photoshop masterpiece depicts Charlotte climbing on top of a shopping cart to reach some toys. Photoshopped in next to her is her dad, in his military uniform with his arms out, ready to catch her. Andrea, meanwhile, is seated on the floor, drinking a coffee.
“Deployments are HARD. I struggle A LOT and somedays I want to throw in the towel and beg the Marine Corps to return my husband and her daddy to us,” Andrea wrote on Facebook, alongside the photo. “But we all know thats not how this lifestyle works.”
Andrea decided to take the photo at Target because it’s Charlotte’s favorite store.
She thanked her friend, Leslie Owen, for putting together the holiday card for them.
“It took my breath away, because we were all able to be in the same card, even though we’re miles and miles away,” Andrea told ABC News.