Technology helps soldiers stay connected to home
Posted October 14, 2011
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN — Technology and the Internet have changed the way deployed troops keep in touch with their families. Programs like Skype are helping 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers stay connected with family members back home while they serve in Afghanistan.
Spec. Kevin Littleton uses Skype to talk to his wife and 3-year-old daughter, who gets a big kick out of seeing her father online.
"She smiles. She gets real happy. She actually starts to be good sometimes," Littleton said.
Five years ago, troops serving overseas relied on occasional emails or handwritten letters that took several days, if not weeks, to be delivered. These days, soldiers can connect to their families instantly through the Internet, with social media options like Facebook.
Being able to see family members through web video chats is a daily occurrence for many of troops, and it makes a big difference on the homefront.
"It's a major boost to my children," military wife Mary Leimeister said. "I think this deployment would be so much more difficult for them if they couldn't see or hear him doing well. They take a lot of comfort from it."
It is also a comfort for troops to be able to see and hear their loved ones.
"Technology helps a lot, makes deployments a lot easier," Littleton said.
One solider said that working in a high-stress job can be tough, but knowing that, at the end of the day, he can see and talk to his wife means a lot. He said it is his time to vent, talk or just laugh with her.