The notion of a soldier stationed in a foreign country writing letters to family back home is nothing new. What is new are some of the technologies available to military families that allow them to connect with their loved ones overseas beyond the written word.
These days, postcards and hand written letters from exotic ports of call are a thing of the past. For starters, e-mail has all but replaced old-fashioned letter writing in most areas of society, military life being no exception. E-mail is more accessible and instantaneous, making it much more convenient and popular for soldiers stationed overseas.
Another technological advance that has helped military families stay in touch is the advent of affordable and accessible hi-def video recorders. Pocket-sized high-definition cameras, as well as smartphones equipped with HD video, make it quick and easy to send short movies to loved ones. Soldiers stationed on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Persian Gulf can watch videos of their son's first steps or their daughter's prom night on their government-issued laptop. Short video clips are usually small enough to send over e-mail, but longer home movies can be also be shared thanks to Web sites that allow users to upload large files to private accounts.
One final way that families are able to better connect with their loved ones in the military is by using live video streaming. It wasn't so long ago that this kind of technology was only used in corporate board rooms, but now that it's available to the home consumer, it's become a popular way for families to stay connected their loved ones in the military.