Dad records special message to daughters before deployment

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As shoppers hit stores the day after Christmas to take advantage of deep post-holiday discounts, one Raleigh family was on a special mission at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Paul Walker, his wife, and their two daughters were among the many families waiting in a long line at Build-A-Bear Workshop Saturday.

Walker, an Army dad, is being deployed to Afghanistan and the day after Christmas is his last day to spend with his girls for around 10 months.

Just like he did for his eldest in 2009 when he was deployed to Iraq, he'll now have both his daughters pick out a stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear, and he'll record a special message to go inside.

"So that way, the days that I can't call and be there, at least they have something they can hear my voice and feel that my presence is with them," said Walker.

A day at the mall turned into a Christmas to remember for the Walker family.

"Just seeing their faces and delight with having something that they built with me and knowing in my heart that even though I can't be with them, that I'm still there," Walker said.

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