Recently, there was a rocket attack on a U.S. facility in Iraq where the son of a friend of mine is currently posted. The official U.S. Army press release noted that no one was injured in the attack. But she hasn't heard from him so she was a little worried.
That brings to point the wide variety of experiences parents and spouses have in communicating with their soldiers and Marines on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan. In remote areas, access to phone or Internet maybe nearly impossible. In other areas, soldiers may have access to web cams for direct conversations with loved ones.
My wife and I are among of the lucky ones.
Our son has been in Baghdad. He has a cell phone and cell service and calls almost every day.
The conversations goes like this:
Dad: "What's going on?"
Son: "It's going."
Dad: "What are you up to?"
Son: "Talking to you."
At this point, the conversation reaches checkmate. He can't tell us what he is doing. And we don't really want to know what he is doing. For the last 15 months, he has been living the war and we've been following it. Not much else to talk about.
But we feel very fortunate for the daily contact and, frankly, our day doesn't really start until he checks in (some days, he can't...so we speculate on what's going on and we are almost always wrong.)
A couple of Sundays ago, we received a phone call around 8 p.m. It came up PrivDirOff, which means our call blocker is off and it's the only way he can get through. At this time of night, it's usually someone soliciting contributions. But I bit and answered the phone.
He was there.
"Is there a problem, everything OK?"
"Everything is fine. We just got back in. How'd the Jaguars do?"
So here we are. It's 4 a.m. He's been out doing whatever he does and his top of mind concern when he's back is how the local NFL team did (they won by the way).
Unimaginable in wars past.