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Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS |

September 10, 2007

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS
Name: Josie Salzman
Posting date: 9/10/07
Husband
: returned from Iraq
Hometown: Menomenie, WS
Milblog url: lifeinacrackerbox.blogspot.com

There is no greater mental challenge than trying to blot out the worry for a loved one overseas. Never knowing where your soldier is at, and wondering if they are safe, can cause some serious headaches. Oftentimes just hearing their voice on the phone is enough to ease the stress. If only for a few short minutes you can let your guard down, breathe a little deeper, and laugh a little longer knowing that your soldier is still OK.

The Cell Phones for Soldiers program was started in April of 2004 by 13-year-old Brittany Bergquist and her 12-year-old brother Robbie of Norwell, Massachusetts. Their goal is to help our soldiers serving overseas call home by providing prepaid phone cards. They have raised over a million dollars and sent over 75,000 calling cards to our troops! Now with the help of AT&T we can all do a little bit to help Cell Phones for Soldiers. All 1,800 company-owned AT&T wireless stores nationwide are now collecting recycled cell phones to support the cause. Please help! A phone call means the world to all of our military families.Framed_salzman_phones_3

Comments

Nice post. Thanks for sharing information about this program with the public. Can any old cell phone be used?

Thanks for posting this. I remember your name from previous posts. I relate to your experiences. You have been in my thoughts.

Seeing the photo of the soldiers in the photo brought tears to my eyes. Suddenly I remembered 1971, receiving a phone call (via a ham radio operator) from the man I love. He was in Da Nang at the time. He wrote me a letter every day he was in Vietnam serving as a helicopter mechanic, but I forget about those few moments when I heard his voice over the telephone. He had to wait in line for a long time to make the call and the quality of the phone connection was not good, but I could hear his voice, and he could hear mine.

It's strange. I have never heard of this Cell Phones for Soldiers thing. I'm glad you made a post about it. Now others who don't know will realize it's there and try to help as best they can.

I know I am going to get slammed for this, but I am just not sure if all this contact is a good idea.

Once (or more) a day phone calls sound great, and I am sure they are conforting for the family. But I am concerned about the impact they have on the soldiers.

I am old - my war was a long time ago. Then not everyone even had a regular phone. A long distance telephone call was a big deal - expensive and special. When some called long distance you didn't talk about the tire going flat on the car or the rude clerk at the store. You reminded each other how much you loved them and missed them and couldn't wait to see them again.

But cell phones seem to hanve changed all that. I have friends who talk 3 or 4 times a day and relay every single trivial thing that happened to them in the last 4 hours. I guess this is just another sign of my age, but WHY!?!

It is great to hear your loved one has survived yet another day or mission. And it is great for them to know that you still miss them. But do either one of you really need all the details, all the time? Does it help the soldier to know of the on-going issue with the water heater - does he/she really need to be thinking about that at this time? And does it help the family to know just exactly how my times their soldier got shot at today?

this is such a cool idea! I think it's wonderful that someone out there is trying to reconnect the soldiers with their families.

Anybody think about Centcom Order #1 (I think thats the number) No personal Comms equipment. You might be making it easier to talk, but you could get the soldiers in trouble

For me and my husband phone calls were few and far between. Maybe once a month if we were lucky. Conversation wasn't about what they were doing, when they got shot at, or how many IED's they saw go off. J.R. kept me from all of that. Why worry me? And rarely did we discuss the problems around the house or in life. We focused on laughing and enjoying what little time we did have hearing each others voice.

Also it is important to note that it was nearly impossible for him to mail letters home. He spent his time on missions and was never on a post long enough to mail a letter. In the almost nine months he was in Iraq I received 3 letters, one of which was for Christmas and arrived after he had been injured. So, a phone call really means the world.

Amazing post shared by you here. I like to read such interesting post. Thanks for sharing this fascinating post. Stay up the good work.

Informative post I like it. I never read such awesome post before. It's really helpful to me. I always in search of this types of post. Thanks for sharing with us.

A very good initiative. This will encourage the soldiers

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