The other night Mike and I met up with one of his dad's old military friends for dinner.
Side Note: Said Military Friend first showed up at our door unexpectedly the evening before thanks to my in-laws who gave him our address but did not happen to tell us that he was in town or that he would be stopping by to see us. It just so happened, though, that he showed up at the door about 5 minutes after Mike had left for his evening soccer game, and I, convinced that it was my stalker, hid in the hallway and did not answer the door. Comedy of errors anyone? But, really, that is quite another story for another day.
Throughout the course of our dinner, Military Friend spent a great majority of time talking about his military career, particularly his deployments. Mike having just returned from his 2nd deployment to Iraq in February, and currently gearing up for a deployment to Afghanistan this May, is no stranger to deployments. However, our dinner conversation with Military Friend was quite an eye opener.
We realized just how very lucky we are. I mean, spending 7 months away from your spouse could never by any stretch of the imagination be considered easy, but it's certainly a heck of a lot easier than it used to be back in the old days. I attribute this to one very important thing:
This is why for my guest spot on Smiling Mama, I am featuring Skype for my Favorite Things Friday. Skype allows you to make FREE long distance voice and video calls. All you need is a computer with internet connection, a microphone, and a webcam.
Mike and I tried out a couple different messenger services for webcamming during his last deployment such as msn and yahoo, but both of these proved to be sub par as far as video quality goes. Skype, on the other hand, has excellent picture quality and rarely has a delay.
Thanks to Skype, the world seemed a whole lot smaller during what was sometimes a long and dreary 7 month separation from my husband.
Of course, you don't have to have a husband in Iraq to enjoy the benefits of Skype. My in-laws use Skype regularly to webcam with their grandchildren who live across the country from them, and one of my co-workers has a friend living in China who he Skypes with every now and then to keep in touch.
Twenty years ago, military members on deployment had only snail mail letters and short wave radio phone calls to rely on for communication. Today we have email and real time webcamming at our disposal. At this rate, you really have to wonder what kind of high-tech communication tool will be available to us in another 20 years. That's something to ponder.
For now, though, as far as communication goes, it really doesn't get any better than Skype.
Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!