Deployed soldier takes part in daughter's party - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deployed soldier takes part in daughter's party

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July 14, 2004

Valdosta - Little Shelby Strickland is turning one. Her party is complete with cake, gifts, family and friends, but the only thing missing is her Daddy. "He's in Iraq and he's been there since January," said Dorothy Strickland.

But thanks to modern day technology, Specialist Josh Strickland can sing happy birthday to his daughter from across the globe. Through a satellite Internet connection, he can sit in on the party and for the first time, see his daughter walk and talk.

It's all possible through the Freedom Calls Foundation, an organization that links deployed soldiers to their families through video conferences. "It's great," said Strickland. "Five or six years ago something like this wouldn't have been possible.

"I think it's awesome, we haven't seen him in so long and this is just amazing, seeing him talk to us," said Kristen Strickland, Josh's sister.

Specialist Strickland still has six months left in Iraq, but thanks to today's conversations, the time apart will be a little easier to bear.