Danielle Cobo’s husband, who is serving overseas as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, will miss celebrating the holiday with her and their 2-year-old twin boys for the first time.
To make the Christmas holiday a special one despite his absence, Cobo had a family friend digitally edit her husband in this year’s Christmas card photo.
The resulting image is of Cobo standing with her sons while holding out her hand. Her husband, standing in front of a helicopter while in uniform, is edited beside them. His hand is also stretched out, giving the illusion that he and Cobo are holding hands.
"I wanted to find a way for us to capture a photo of us together even though we can't technically be together," Cobo told WFTS. "Even though we're miles apart, we're still close together. We're still a family unit and our hearts are in the right place."
Cobo said she wants others to remember the sacrifices military servicemen and women, and their families, make during the holiday season.
"We're just holding it all together. It's a sacrifice among everybody," she said.
"I remember the day when I dropped him off with his unit to leave," Cobo added. "I remember driving home. No one had any idea what I'm going through right now. It made me look around at all the other people around me. People go through so much in their lives and you would have no idea."
Though it’s difficult not having her husband, who returns home in the spring of 2020, Cobo said she will continue to incorporate her husband’s presence in their sons’ lives through stories, photos and videos.