Last night at the Brad Paisley concert in Bangor, ME, Paisley saw two large cardboard photo cut-outs of soldiers in uniform. The cut outs are affectionately referred to as “flat daddies” because they are tangible images of a loved one that is deployed overseas. As Paisley held the cut-outs up for the crowd to see he said “This is what it’s all about. These guys are heroes. Let’s hear it!”
After the show Paisley posted a tweet with a photo, asking for help identifying the soldiers.
The local newspaper, Bangor Daily News, jumped in to help Paisley by reposting his message and within an hour Amanda Kelly and Erin Donnell posted their own photos.
Kelly had the cardboard cutout of her husband, Sgt. Ryan Kelly and Donnell had one of her boyfriend Sgt. Dana Gross. Both are deployed with Maine’s 133rd Battalion at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and Sgt. Kelly was even in attendance at Paisley’s surprise concert at the base on Memorial Day.
“They’re more than faces on a poster to me. These are each individuals, and it’s a really huge reminder that these guys over there have lives back here,” he said. “When you see the person who loves them most, it just strikes you. I wanted to know their names and who they are.”
“I was shocked at first. It was really emotional. As soon as he picked Ryan and Dana up it really hit me hard,” Kelly told the publication. “It’s hard being on the homefront alone, and it’s amazing that he supports the troops so much and has such a tribute to them during his shows.”
Paisley has extended an invitation for both soldiers to attend his Boston concert in August. “I play Boston in August, so I would like to see if they can come down and stay in touch,” Paisley added. “It’s fun to connect to these guys. This kind of connection just gives you a great feeling.”
Read more about the amazing connection HERE.
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