Video Service Connects Soldiers With Families - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/20/05

Video Service Connects Soldiers With Families

A computer screen is linking 27 South Plains families with their loved ones in Iraq. It's an AT&T program called Operation Freedom Call.

Soldiers are allowed phone calls from Iraq, but not often and it's definitely not the same as seeing the face of the person they loved. During the video conversation, each family had 20 minutes.

In some instances five or ten family members packed into a tiny room so they could see and talk to their loved one. They caught up and talked about Christmas, and for many the mere sight of the other moved them to tears.

"At first I didn't know what to say because I kept crying," said Crystal Leyendecker who's husband has been in Iraq since September. "He was asking her (our daughter) about Christmas and if she's ready. He kept asking me can you see me. We were just glad to see each other."

Over 100 family members talked with a loved one in Iraq. Some family members came from as far away as Houston and Dallas.

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