April 06, 2004


I finally got a call from the husband last night. At 1240, which is 0240 in Iraq. This is the only time he could find in his day to call me, which makes me feel a little crazy. Apparently, the commander has said that no one is allowed to go to the phones unless they all go together, which would mean a group of 18 driving over to use four phones. None of them have five hours to kill waiting in line with each other, so they never get to go. The husband could technically go since he's the LT, but he doesn't go if his soldiers aren't allowed, which is the reason why 15 days passed between his phone calls. I'm really disappointed that they have this rule there, not for myself but for him; he sounded really beat down. When I asked him how he was doing, he said, "I'd be doing better if I could talk to you more often." I think soldiers need contact with their families as a way to unwind and vent, and I'm disappointed that his company is being denied phone use. But they are moving to another camp in the next two weeks, so when the phones are right there instead of three kilometers away, perhaps the rules will change a little. I hope so; that was the worst I've heard him so far.

Posted by Sarah at April 6, 2004 08:16 AM

Dear Congressman,
Morale of my Iraq-deployed husband's company is being negatively impacted in a most unusual way. A policy has been announced that requires either all members of the company to stand in line together to wait for telephone access or none of them are allowed telephone access.
Two questions:
Is this policy being considered for Iraq-wide implementation? What is the expected affect of denying familial communications on re-enlistments?
Thank you.
Yeah, I know. Rocking boats.

Posted by: homebru at April 6, 2004 05:57 PM

I meant to ping you yesterday to say that I posted on this on my own blog (no trackback in the land of Blogspot). Here is the link to my post (text follows): http://serenade.splinder.it/1081244532#1783541

"This post of Sarah's really touched me. She had to wait 15 days between calls from her husband, who is deployed in Iraq. I spend a fair amount of time away from my girlfriend, as I live in London and she is at university in Milan - but we exchange SMS messages, instant messages and telephone calls several times a day. Maybe it's just a ping, a 30-second conversation just to say hi and hear the other's voice, maybe it's a long conversation that has to take the place of curling up together on the couch (yes, my phone bill is horrific - why do you ask?), but I don't miss her nearly as much because she is almost within reach. Having to go for 15 days without talking to her would have me tearing my hair out.

I am in awe of Sarah and her husband. I wish him well, a man I will probably never meet, but to whom I owe a lot, and I hope that he knows that at least some of us behind the lines are very grateul for what he is doing."

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