Program Allows Military to Communicate with Deployed Family Members

FREDERICKMD - Colonel Mitchell Brew has taken on the responsibility of raising his three children, including four-year-old Justin, while his wife is deployed in Afghanistan.

Now he has some help keeping in touch with her. 

"It's a great asset to keep families together and to minimize the stress of being separated," Col. Brew says.

The two use the 'I C Your Smiles' program at Fort Detrick.

"I like talking to mom on the video," Justin Brew says. "I miss her."

People film a message for their deployed family member through a camera on the screen. It is then uploaded on the Web, and an e-mail is sent out to the soldier.

"It helps my son stay on touch with his mom," Col. Brew says. "His mom stays in touch with the family back here, especially as we approach great milestones like birthdays and first days of school."

Fort Detrick has three of these programs across the post.

"This says a lot about the Army's commitment to the Army family covenant and to making sure that soldiers are taken care of so they don't have to worry about their families as they go onto their important mission down range," Col. Brew says.

Justin enjoys saluting his mom, who will be deployed until next February, and thinks of the next video he'll send to brighten her day.

The program is also used to record and send special moments, such as birthday parties, recitals, and holiday events.

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