Military Families Enjoy Virtual Visits

Military Families Enjoy Virtual Visits
By: Tony Hensley
For many military families, it has been more than a year since they've seen their loved ones. But, thanks to technology, all that is changing. The University of Missouri and Family Clinics throughout the Bootheel have teamed up to help many folks ease the pain of separation.
Health clinic's in Southeast Missouri use video conferencing to connect patients with doctors all across the country to get a diagnosis. Using the same technology, clinics are connecting heartland families with soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.
Any military family will tell you one of the toughest parts of having a loved one overseas is not seeing them for long periods of time. But, thanks to technology, that feeling of absence will soon change.
Darryl Roberts says, “This is broad band technology. We route them through the network from there we just hook them up. it's basically high speed internet.”
But, the picture, sound and quality is better than any webcam. This video conferencing is technology that allows people to see their loved ones in the Middle East for free.
"They way that this would work for calls to Iraq is that there is a place on the site and fill out a form on the site and fill out a form and then they will call us and they say we have somebody for you." Roberts said.
Not only can a military family can talk for up to an hour they can also bring in a VHS tape and pop it into the VCR and it will be a memory that will last for a lifetime.
Dale Potter says, “It's an unbelievable experience. I believe the family cried immediately the other half cried for a half hour. It was an unbelievable experience."

If you would like to talk to your loved one contact the Family Clinic at 573-472-1770 for an appointment. There are several locations across Southeast Missouri where you can take advantage of video conferencing with a loved one.

The free service is at Family Clinics in Bernie, Sikeston , New Madrid, Portageville and Kennett. Remember, it could take up to a week to get one scheduled.