Woman Finds Stiff Replacement for Boyfriend in Iraq

What started out as a joke has strengthened the couple's bond

Staff Sgt. Patrick Thomas' girlfriend is cheating on him, well, with him.

A cardboard version of the war vet stationed in Iraq, that is.

Anne Schollard, who lives in Jacksonville, carries her new cardboard man everywhere she goes - the beach, movies or on a plane. As you can expect, she gets all kinds of crazy looks from people who think she has truly lost it.

Schollard doesn't think she has gone loco, but jokingly sees the cardboard beau as an upgrade. 

"He doesn't talk back, he doesn't argue," she said. "There are a couple of people who kind of gave us the stink eye, like, 'Eww, what are you doing?'"

The muscular cut out is the pivotal piece of "Perk up Patrick," an effort by family and friends to keep the freedom fighter connected and upbeat while in a foreign land. Thomas has been stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force for two months and sometimes goes days without talking to a familiar voice.

But while he has been slumming it in the desert, Thomas' cardboard double has been living it up in vacation spots around Florida and California.

Thomas at least gets the pictures of cardboard Patrick's escapades so he can live vicariously through him, errr, it.

"He said 'I'm so excited to see what this project is. I just love it so much,'" Schollard said.

This might just be a threesome everyone can endorse, but our question is, will cardboard man get the boot when the real Patrick returns?

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