When Kerry and I had been married for two whole weeks, he was sent to Korea for a year. He was a Private First Class and we were busting with pride that he outranked somebody (regular Privates). We still giggle about that.
It was hard spending our first year apart. I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. We loved each other more than anybody ever loved anyone in the whole history of the world and ripping us apart like that was the most cruel, heinous thing that could have happened. Romeo and Juliet had nothing on us.
Back in that ancient time (1991) people had never heard of home computers. Well, maybe some people had, but I certainly hadn't. And even if I had heard of them, only rich people would have had them. I was married to a Private. Computers did not exist in our universe.
No, back then we had "AT&T Reach Out World". This allowed us to talk once a week for eighteen whole minutes. Our phone bill was around $200 a month, an astronomical amount at that time at that pay level. I lived for Thursday mornings when I could call him. We wrote a lot of letters that year.
When Kerry deployed to Iraq in 2003, things were better, but still not fabulous. We had a computer in our house and he had a computer in Iraq. His connection was sketchy though and I was lucky to get an email every few days. He was able to call about once a week but there were phone Nazis who chopped the call off after 10 minutes. Many of our phone conversations consisted of me trying to wrestle the phone away from one of the kids when their two minutes were up.
Now, in 2009, separations are looking up. Kerry has his own computer in his own room and we have Skype (if I had a way to make a chorus of singing angels descend around the word Skype I would use it here).
Skype is an amazing program which allows us to see each other and talk to one another through our computers. And, wait for it, here it comes - it's free. That's right folks you heard me say it and it's true. Free. We've been using Skype for about four months now, and it really truly has not cost us one penny. We talk almost every day and being able to see each other and talk as much as we want has made this deployment so much easier.
We can each sit and talk to him as long as we want (or until one of us has to use the bathroom). We've had conversations that have lasted over an hour. Technology is really helping families survive deployments. It is so much easier today than it used to be.
Thank you Skype!