Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith will spend his first Christmas away from his 3-year-old daughter this year, but he was not forgotten from his family’s Christmas card.
Smith, a nearly 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, was Photoshopped into a card with his wife, Andrea Smith, and their daughter, Charlotte.
The photo shows Andrew Smith in his military uniform stepping in to help as Charlotte stands atop toys in a Target grocery cart and Andrea Smith sits on the floor drinking a Starbucks.
“I know so many families are going through the same thing as us,” Andrea Smith, 28, told ABC News. “If we can make awareness that families are still missing people serving away from home, it’s worth it.”
Andrea Smith chose to take the photo at Target because it is Charlotte’s favorite store. Sitting on the floor drinking coffee was meant to be a fun way to show all Andrea Smith does as a single, stay-at-home mom while her husband serves the country.
“People think of the guys that are deployed but it’s hard on everybody,” she said. “I truly just want everybody to know we’re thinking of other families.”
Andrew Smith, 29, has been stationed with his family at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for the past three years. Andrea Smith was not able to disclose his length of deployment or location.
“His first reaction was, ‘This is fantastic,’” Andrea Smith said of the first time her husband saw the Christmas card. “He was completely blown away.”
Andrea Smith said the photo of her entire family together took her breath away.
“When I saw us all together, I thought, ‘This is perfect,’” she said. “There was not another word for it.”
“It took my breath away because we were all able to be in the same card even though we’re miles and miles away.”