WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Military members and their families make sacrifices every day to protect our country.

Deployments can be difficult on loved ones with missed birthdays and holidays.

A Washington County girl named Kindel Whitaker has found a creative way to stay connected to her dad while he’s serving overseas in the Army National Guard.

“We used to go rock hunting in Lynn Haven when it was like a big thing down in Lynn Haven with all our family so I wanted to get that back in and then we were at dinner talking about our day and mama was like ‘Why don’t you paint rocks for papa and he can hide them,’ and that was basically how it got started,” Whitaker said.

Right now, Whitaker is working on a collection of patriotic gnomes for the 4th of July.

Whitaker’s rocks have been found all over the world in places like Kuwait and Germany.

“There’s a Facebook page that I’ve gotten like four or five requests,” Whitaker said. “A teacher that mama works with, her daughter is deployed and she was feeling homesick so I painted rocks for her and sent those out, and then a veteran down in Virginia asked me and then a soldier that’s deployed with papa asked me.”

Whitaker said painting the rocks has been a way to express herself and a way to stay connected to her dad. Her goal for the project is simple.

“I just want to make every soldier that finds one happy,” Whitaker said.

To read more about Whitaker from our media partner, Washington County News, head to their website.

If you’d like to ask for some rocks from Whitaker, click here.