'Flat Dad' steps aside after Onslow County Marine surprises boys after deployment

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. -- For the past six months, Max and Eric Edens have been spending time with "Flat Dad" -- a cardboard cutout of their deployed Marine father.

Flat Dad cheers the boys on at sporting events, school dances and even makes appearances at family dinners.

Deborah Edens told WCTI she came up with the idea while her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Matt Edens, was deployed.

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However, Flat Dad had to step aside on Monday because real dad came home.

Matt put on a mask and surprised his boys out on the field.

"It was really amazing because we didn't see him in such a long time and it was really fun," said Eric Edens. "I didn't see him walk over but when he took his mask off, I was really surprised. It was unexpected."

So what will the boys do now that dad is home? Play a ton of backyard sports -- of course.

The family said Matt surprised his other three children later that day.

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