Cardboard Cutout of Ohio Marine Keeps Family Company While He is Away

Now that he's back home from Iraq, an Ohio Marine is learning all about the busy social life his two-dimensional twin led during his absence.

"Flat Brett" is a small, cardboard cutout doll of Lance Cpl. Brett Davis, made by one of his mother's co-workers at Basic Systems Inc., an engineering and automation firm.

Carman Friday said she got the idea after learning that local schools were participating in the "Flat Stanley" project in which students mail around a paper doll and keep a journal of its travels. The project was sparked by a children's book with the same name.

In a similar vein, Flat Brett was photographed as he went around to family functions and was taken along on a business trip to Texas. The little guy with a round, smiling face and wearing construction paper camouflage and black boots even got to meet country singers Josh Turner and Josh Gracin when they performed at county fairs this summer near the Davis family's home in this village about 70 miles east of Columbus.

The real Brett Davis, 23, who left for boot camp in October 2003, returned to town Saturday after completing his Marine enlistment following a seven-month deployment to Iraq earlier this year.

His mother, Connie Davis, said Monday that Flat Brett is resting now, inside a photo album of his adventures that's now complete with a final picture of both Bretts together.