Military family creates heartwarming holiday card - despite father-of-four being deployed thousands of miles away in Iraq (thanks to some creative photoshopping)

Many would say it's hard to get in the Christmas spirit when your loved ones are away, but one creative military family didn't let ...

Many would say it's hard to get in the Christmas spirit when your loved ones are away, but one creative military family didn't let distance rob them of their joy.
Ashley Williams Sistrunk was determined to have a Christmas photo with her husband, Brandon, who is stationed in Iraq for the holidays, and their four children.
'At first it bummed me out. I was so sorry for myself... and that's when I thought, I can put him in a photo,' she told the Today show.




Ashley Williams Sistrunk (pictured with her children) was determined to have a Christmas photo with her husband, Brandon (left), who is stationed in Iraq for the holidays, and their four children



So she and their children took a picture near their Colorado Springs home that showed her holding the 'Christmas' half of a 'Merry Christmas' sign, while Brandon held the 'Merry' half of the sign in Iraq

So she and their children took a picture near their Colorado Springs home that showed her holding the 'Christmas' half of a 'Merry Christmas' sign.
The other half, 'Merry', was held by Brandon, who is a staff sergeant in the Air Force.
Brandon has missed the birth of three of his four children and his wife, who insisted they create a memorable Christmas nonetheless, is used to spending a lot of time without him.

But this year, he didn't miss the chance at being with his family on their Christmas card.
Ashley put the family photos together using Photoshop.
She said for the photo of them kissing, Brandon had to pose and kiss the air. He ended up taking the same photo 15 times to make sure at least one of them matched up with hers.



Ashley put the family photos together using Photoshop. She said for the photo of them kissing, Brandon (pictured) had to pose and kiss the air. He ended up taking the same photo 15 times to make sure at least one of them matched up with hers





Brandon has missed the past two Christmases and in anticipation of him being away this year, the family (pictured are three of his children) held an early celebration in June

Brandon who said his wife is 'very particular about details' told Today in an email: 'I know Ashley, and I had to make sure to take at least 20 pictures of each shot to make sure (I) got the right one.'
He said he was 'very happy with the idea of still being able to display our family greetings to our friends'.
Ashley told Today that she is glad so many people around the world are getting a small glimpse into the lives of many military families.
'Having a piece of your heart across the world, fighting for your country, it's a just a whole other level of emotions,' Sistrunk told KKTV.
'I'm going to try not to cry. Just reading some of the comments of, 'Oh that's so cute,' but also people feeling out sadness in it. But then seeing that we're trying to put a positive spin on the holidays even though he's not here.'
Brandon has missed the past two Christmases and in anticipation of him being away this year, the family held an early celebration in June.

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We Love Ellen: Military family creates heartwarming holiday card - despite father-of-four being deployed thousands of miles away in Iraq (thanks to some creative photoshopping)
Military family creates heartwarming holiday card - despite father-of-four being deployed thousands of miles away in Iraq (thanks to some creative photoshopping)
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