Deployed airman’s family Christmas photo goes viral

(CNN) – Home is where the heart is, “Having a piece of your heart across the world, fighting for your country, it’s just a whole other level of emotions,” said Ashley Sistrunk.

For Brandon Sistrunk, his heart here is in Colorado Springs with his wife, Ashley, and four children.

Brandon is a staff sergeant in the air force, deployed in Iraq right now, “We tell the kids that, ‘yes, other kids have their daddy home right now.’ but their daddy is out being a superhero, keeping our country safe and that’s important, and that’s important, huh? That’s an important job.”

Ashley hopes their Christmas card will give comfort to other military families, that they are not alone, “You can feel mentally alone and emotionally alone even though you know that they’ll come back or you pray that they come back. But hopefully seeing that we’re getting through it that they can get through it too.”

The family says the reaction from this photo on social media has been a little overwhelming, “I’m going to try not to cry. Just reading some of the comments of, ‘oh that’s so cute,’ but then also people feeling our sadness in it. But then seeing that we’re trying to put a positive spin on the holidays even though he’s not here.”

Ashley Sistrunk says she and her family cannot wait for the day her husband gets to come home.