Servicemembers stay connected with families through reading during deployment
ABOARD THE USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER — Petty Officer 1st Class Chardae Longshore sat book in hand and a smile on her face in the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower’s museum, surrounded by pictures of ship operations, historical posters, and a bust of the former president the ship is named for.
Facing her was a camera, the light turning red to show it had started recording.
“Hi Braylen, if you’re getting this video it means its time for bed,” Longshore said. “Mommy loves you.”
Longshore, like other sailors during Ike’s deployment to the Middle East, was participating in a program called United Through Reading, which allowed her to be video-recorded reading a bedtime story to her son in Virginia — thousands of miles from the carrier’s current location.
“I try to make sure I call him once or twice a week,” Longshore said. “When we hit ports, I make sure I FaceTime him so that he can see me. But it’s very difficult. He starts elementary school this year, so I’m going to miss his first day of ‘big boy school’ as I tell him. So its very hard for me.”
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