Saturday, January 22, 2011

Communication Rant

One of the truly disheartening things about being a family in the Navy is that the communication from the ship to the homestead is often challenging to obtain. 

Please don't get me wrong.  There are lots of perks to being in the Navy and having your loved one stationed on a Navy ship, as opposed to being in the the other services.  I would never say that the Navy life is harder or easier than being part or the Army, Marines or Air Force.  Each service has its own challenges and benefits. 

But lately, the communication capabilities of this large ship in the middle of the ocean can really wear down one's patience.  One of the things that bugs me most, is that the AT&T Sailor phones onboard, provided for Sailor's to be able to keep in touch with their families are very poor quality indeed.  From the cost to use these Sailor phones, to the amount of static you have to talk through (I mean, it is ridiculous to have to strain to listen to hear words of your deployed Sailor, even with your phone on its highest volume) is really sad. 

In the meantime, what we generally rely on to communicate is e-mail.  And when that goes down for whatever purpose, it can be very frustrating.  Your spouse, your best friend, suddenly becomes this far away person who you almost have to emotionally forget about, just so you can get through your day. 

With all of the gains in the technology world in recent decades, there's got to be a way to allow better communication between families for our sailors that don't have access to computers and phones out there.  Within the Navy, you also have to consider that any type of outside communication can be a security risk. 

What I do know for sure, (and I'm trying to say that without sounding like the end of a O magazine) is that when my husband steps off that ship and back into our lives, I fully intend to share a cup of coffee with him and bask in the glorious revelation that we get to sit down and have a conversation and communicate.  And I promise to appreciate that simple task that so many people take for granted.

Now I'm curious.  What are the challenges with communication during deployment in the other military services? 

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