Local News

Videoconferencing Unites Military Families

Posted June 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— 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. But there are many military fathers who are spending their special day away from the family. Now with a little help from technology, families are being reunited at the click of the mouse.

Just spending time with dad is a gift worth taking advantage of at Fort Bragg. Chrissy Sabatino is one of many wives seeing her husband for the first time in months. Sabatino can hardly believe how gorgeous her husband 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 done without. It's first time in nearly two months they've seen their husbands and fathers who are stationed in Bosnia. Brittany Marrero smiles for the tiny camera mounted atop the computer. She wants to show her Dad how many teeth she's lost since he left. Brittany's mother can't wait for her husband to come home and help her with the yard work.

This is the first time videoconferencing is being tried at a military base. The hope is that if it works here at Fort Bragg, instead of people picking up the phone, they'll turn to their computers where they can not only talk to their loved ones they can actually see them.

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