More than 44 percent of active U.S military members on duty have at least one child at home, per a 2011 Princeton survey, which means that there are lots of American kids out there who go without a military parent present in their everyday lives for weeks or months, sometimes even years, at a time.
Skype calls, phone calls and letters can only do so much, and so battery company Duracell made an ad to show what these families go through and how hard it can be for separated soldiers and their kids. The short video called "The Teddy Bear" features a little girl with a teddy bear that plays her deployed father's voice saying "I love you baby girl" that he taped for her.
Their tie-in? "The ones you trust are always there." Batteries and parents.
It has an ending that will warm and hurt your heart all at once.
At first, she's happy and holds onto the bear, playing the recording over and over.
But as time goes on, she misses her dad so much, it hurts to Skype with him...
Until one day, the "I love you baby girl" is no longer a recording, but real.
The brand partnered with USO, a nonprofit organization that provides services to U.S. troops around the world, to help them assist the thousands of children coping with having a family member away serving. According to Duracell, the ad is based on a true story of a military dad and his daughters living in California.
"When the dad was deployed, he left behind a voice recorded teddy bear," Duracell wrote on the YouTube page. "We were so inspired by this family and their service that we wanted to share and inspire viewers to join Duracell in donating to the USO to support U.S. military families who are living through a deployment."