Videoconferencing brings military families closer together - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Videoconferencing brings military families closer together

September 27, 2005

Moultrie--South Georgians can now connect with loved ones in the military, using a new high tech communication method. Freedom Calls Foundation, a non-profit organization, based in New York is helping.

It may look like an ordinary television but only better. 

"It's just like talking in a television set with a camera on top," says teleconferencing coordinator, Beau Sherman.  Sherman is helping family members get in touch with loved ones in the military. This device will also allow more than 30,000 troops in Iraq to connect with their families almost instantly.

"The camera's right up there, the microphones are right up there, and we'd bring it down and put on the table, and it's just like talking face to face," says Sherman.

Videoconferencing is available in four cities in south Georgia. They are: Moultrie, Thomasville, Camilla, and Cairo.

"E-mail is great. Telephone calls are even better, but to have an image to go along with that communication is even better," says Moultrie assistant city manager, Lance Arnett.

Arnett says the device will give soldiers a chance to take part in priceless family events. 

 "We envision birthdays, you know, to do a video conference for a birthday party," he says.

While talking to loved one through a TV monitor, is a new concept for many south Georgians, Sherman hopes to have many participants.

 "We're ready to go. Ss soon as people start signing up, we're on board with them."

And best of all, the service is free of charge.  If you would like set up a videoconference session with a loved one stationed in Iraq, you can contact Community Network Services.  In Moultrie, dial 985-5400.  In Cairo, dial 307-0332.  In Camilla, dial 336-7856.  In Thomasville, dial 227-7001.

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