When freedom calls, NAU-Yuma answers

U.S. troops in Iraq will have a chance to talk to and see their families Dec. 17 at Northern Arizona University-Yuma and Arizona Western College.

The campus is hosting another Freedom Calls Foundation event to use state-of-the-art satellite and internet technology to connect troops with their families through video conferencing.

The campus participated in Freedom Calls on Nov. 18, connecting a dozen families with their military loved-ones for up to 30 minutes each. The event was such a success, they’re doing again.

“It was a day of smiles and tears for everyone, especially one little 4-year-old girl who when she saw her father on the big screen, ran into the classroom shouting ‘Daddy!’ Her father had a big smile on his face,” said Paul Neuman, vice president of Information Technology Services at AWC.

According to Zeke Torres, a senior media specialist at NAU-Yuma, “Several of us from NAU and AWC are willing to volunteer our time since we are neighbors, friends and in some cases, family to many service men and women oversees.”

The campus, located near Marine, Navy and Army training bases, has the capacity to perform 32 video conferences. NAU TV Services worked with the foundation to arrange the necessary technology.

Established in 2003, the Freedom Calls Foundation helps boost the morale of front-line soldiers faced with extended tours of duty by using technology to allow them to communicate with their families.

To participate, call Torres at (928) 317-6414.