5 Ways To Stay In Touch During Deployment
Recently we asked our Facebook fans how they stayed connected to their loved ones during deployment, and your answers got us thinking. There’s more than just one way to stay connected! Thanks to modern technology, communication can be instant. But also nothing beats the nostalgic feel of a handwritten note.
We decided to dive in deeper to discover a few more ways to stay in touch during deployment:
1. Video Chatting
With a webcam and high-speed internet, you can have something that almost feels like a face-to-face conversation. Even if you’re across the world, it can seem like you’re down the street. With these free programs you can see, hear, and talk with your spouse about the military loans or grocery bills, or talk to your children about school or sports.
- Face Time – This easy-to-use app is usually found on Apple products. It makes talking to each other, and seeing each other’s faces, easy and quick. Erin Bonilla responded that she uses the “iPad to iPad FaceTime and messaging. We have only written a couple letters because we talk that way almost every day.”
- Google+ – Google created a way for you to talk to your spouse from anywhere in the world by creating a “Hangout” where you can share links, add goofy graphic digital effects, and screen share. You can even invite friends and family in to talk to your partner at bootcamp or during a deployment.
- Skype – This free program allows you to call or video call with multiple parties from anywhere in the world. Most new computers have it loaded already or you can just get the software off of the internet.
2. Snail Mail
Most of us have forgotten that writing letters is a great way to communicate. A hundred emails won’t have the impact that a single, handwritten letter. A couple of pages about what you’re doing and how you’re feeling won’t just be an update to your spouse, it will become a cherished heirloom that they will carry with them until you are together again.
One sailor had the wonderful idea to leave a note for every day that he was deployed. This romantic gesture caught the attention of many people and even the local news.
3. Care Packages
Even in old movies, soldiers and sailors are excited during “mail call,” the time when they get letters and packages from home. For your hero overseas or at training, a package with notes, cards and mementos of home can mean the world. Simple items like books to read, the local newspaper, or drawings from the children can make even a bad day better and for a service member.
4. Reading books
One of the hardest parts of being away might be because of your young children. A creative solution for that is to actually record yourself reading a bedtime story to them so they can be familiar with your face or your voice. Various programs like Read to Me, Daddy (or Mommy) and United through Reading are great resources for you to help stay inspire you in doing this.
You might even read books to your spouse on CD or iPod that they can listen to before they fall asleep. The sound of your voice reading a book might be just the thing on lonely nights.
5. Phone calls
Sometimes the sound of your voice over a telephone is the best way to communicate the day’s events and share a few moments together. The availability of cell phones, satellite phones and VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol) makes telephones easier and less expensive than at any other time in history.
Most soldiers have internet to their tents or barracks. For those that don’t, full internet access is now standard features of MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) facilities on base. For those at home who don’t have a computer to use, your local public library will be happy to help you find a way to reach your spouse.
Staying in touch with all of this technology is easy, quick, and frequent. Whether you’re writing a letter or making a state-of-the-art video conference call, the key is just to use all of the resources available to you.
Have any other ideas for staying connected? What ways did you find touched your heart the most?