Technology is helping military families stay connected. See how future message delivery and private chat are keeping families connected across time zones and generations
Just imagine being halfway around the globe, serving your country. You may be in the middle of a warzone. You may be helping to rebuild a community devastated by a natural disaster. You may be stationed in a foreign country, far away from home . Whatever your circumstances, the simple fact is you are separated from the ones you love. Your parents, spouse, children and friends all miss you terribly. In addition, you aren’t in the same time zone, so making a call can be difficult. So how do military families stay connected?
Communication for Military Families Can be Difficult
Kevin Milligan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1998. Back then, the main forms of communication were phones and written letters. Kevin explains the hassle this could create.
“You’d be in line, you’d have a prepaid phone card. You had to pick up the phone, punch in a code that you scratched off, and hope that someone would pick up. Because otherwise you had 100 G.I. 's behind you waiting to use the phone.” It was an awkward, clumsy process. But this is the way everyone used to communicate, prior to the rapid growth of the internet.
Kevin goes on to explain that the communication between a member of the armed forces and their family back home is essential. “It’s not hyperbole, there were days when the ONLY thing that got me through was realizing I was one day closer to being back with my loved ones.” Kevin added “those letters, they are a slice of home for the men and women serving around the world.”
One of the interesting points brought up as Kevin shared his story was the discussion about the family back home and how important it is for them to receive messages from their loved one overseas. The timing of sending an encouraging note to a child preparing for a big event or a spouse heading off to a job interview was extremely difficult.
The Pain of Missing Milestones
Kevin touched on another important issue in the lives of the members of the military, and that is missing important milestones in the lives of their family. “While you’re overseas, your family is doing what they have to do to get by. Going to work, school, activities, whatever that is.” The pain of missing out on these important moments with loved ones is a very real thing for those serving their country. “Your family, whether they are back in the states, or they have traveled and are living on a base with you, they go with you [emotionally].”
It can even become more stark, as many are cognizant that tomorrow may never come. For those serving in active combat zones, the fear of not being there for the future is very real. “It is challenging that when you’re in a place like [a combat zone], that could be the last time you ever speak with them. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and tomorrow is a very long prospect.”
“Those letters, they are a slice of home”
-Kevin Milligan, U.S. Army Veteran
The ability to let your family know that what you’re thinking about in those moments is them, that is something Kevin wishes he had back then. So what has changed in the last 24 years? Technology has made communication easier.
Technology Helps Military Families Connect
The advent and proliferation of the internet has made communication easier for military families. As Kevin explains “We used to get letters. And it meant the world, because think of what it takes to write a letter. If you asked someone to write a letter today in 2022, they’d be like ‘what’s a pen?’ But it is incredible what CircleIt offers, which is a tangible piece of home that alleviates the loneliness.”
While Kevin acknowledges that letters are more tangible than digital assets, the world has gone digital. Whether it is email, social media, or text messaging, most communication is done via these new methods. However, there are drawbacks to the traditional forms of digital communication as well.
Privacy is one aspect that was discussed. While social media can keep people connected, there are some things that don’t need to be shared publicly. While text messages can be private, there are times when network service may be limited or unavailable. Emails are hacked regularly, and being able to find an old email isn’t always easy.
CircleIt Helps Military Families Stay Connected, No Matter What
Ensuring that your loved ones have messages, photos, videos and more from you, even after you’re gone, is not available with other platforms. One unique feature of CircleIt is the fact that messages arrive in the recipient’s time zone. So when you are 10 hours ahead or behind your loved one, your message will arrive when you want it to.
Privacy is guaranteed on CircleIt, as we are not supported by advertisers and not selling member data to third parties of any type. So families in the military can feel comfortable sending messages in our private chat platform, or sharing photos and videos.