They didn’t have Facebook.
I was just thinking the other day about how lucky we are as parents of deployed children to be able to communicate with them during deployment. Do not get me wrong. It is still very hard to sleep with the phone, check email countless times and yes, I am sure we all know what it is like to “stalk” the mailman.
I recently spoke with some Patriot Guard friends who lived through the Vietnam area. They reminded me to be thankful for communication we enjoy these days as they like their counterparts in WWII and other previous wars had rely on a written letter. Skype was far from being a possibility in those days.
Now, we also have the overwhelming influence of Social Networking sights. I can hardly believe I can logon to FaceBook everyday and see pictures posting from the ship. Not to mention the Capt of the ship occasionally will post updates. I search Twitter everyday for info and I have been able to connect with other families with loved ones on this ship. Why, I almost set my 80-year-mother on FaceBook. She declined and just decided to follow the Shutterfly site I have set up where I add all the news stories and pictures I find concerning the deployment.
I saw a tweet from a pregnant wife appealing to the ship to contact her deployed sailor because she is ready to give birth and her husband had not called since the ship sailed. Unbelievably, the ship replied and told her to email privately and the contact person on the ship said he would see what he could do. That did not happen in previous conflicts.
The point is that even though it is still very hard for us to sit and wait, nearly shower with the phone, exhaust every search phrase on Google and make the mailman want to change routes, we are very lucky and blessed. We are all in the boat together as were all the parents, wives, children…before us.