Marine carries teddy bear during deployment for toddler daughter

POSTED: 6:34 AM Dec 24 2013   UPDATED: 5:50 PM Sep 11 2013
Sgt. Anthony Ortiz

A Camp Lejeune Marine serving in Afghanistan had a unique traveling companion for much of his deployment- a small, fuzzy teddy bear. It was to show his toddler daughter that she was always on his mind.

Sgt. Anthony Ortiz, a combat cameraman with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, found the teddy bear in Afghanistan and put it in his bag before heading to patrol, according to an article by Cpl. Paul Peterson of the Marine Corps. The brown and white stuffed animal became Ortiz's constant companion as he traveled throughout the Helmand province.

Sgt. Ortiz posed for photos with the bear whenever he arrived at a new installation. He said he did all this for his daughter, who will soon turn 3 years old. Ortiz hasn't seen his little girl for about a year, and he hopes the bear can give her "a little bit of myself and my travels."

"I'm giving her the experience of where I've been through this teddy bear … It can represent all the different landmarks we hit together," Ortiz told the Marine Corps. "Then, I'll send it to my daughter because at every place I've been, all around Afghanistan, up and down, she was always on my mind."

Ortiz mailed the bear, photos and a birthday card to his daughter in Virginia on Sept. 5.