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Videoconferencing Unites Military Families

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Brittany Marrero talks to her Dad
FORT BRAGG — If you're like many people you're probably making plans to do something nice for your dad, especially with Father's Day just two days away. Butthere are many military fathers who are spending their special day awayfrom the family. Now with a little help from technology, families arebeing reunited at the click of the mouse.

Just spending time with dad is a gift worth taking advantage of at FortBragg. Chrissy Sabatino is one of many wives seeing her husband for thefirst time in months. Sabatino can hardly believe how gorgeous herhusband is. She wishes him happy Father's Day. There's so much to say,and for just a day-- even more to see.

Friday was the Father's Day most Fort Bragg families would have donewithout. It's first time in nearly two months they've seen their husbandsand fathers who are stationed in Bosnia. Brittany Marrero smiles for thetiny camera mounted atop the computer. She wants to show her Dad how manyteeth she's lost since he left. Brittany's mother can't wait for herhusband to come home and help her with the yard work.

This is the first time videoconferencing is being tried at a militarybase. The hope is that if it works here at Fort Bragg, instead of peoplepicking up the phone, they'll turn to their computers where they can notonly talk to their loved ones they can actually see them.

But technology comes with a few glitches here and there. A thunderstormin Bosnia knocked out the system for a while. But most families did getto see their loved ones-- making it a very happy Father's Day two daysearly.

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