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krazyboutWDW
09-25-2004, 06:30 PM
I need some help and thought this would be a good place to ask.
My daughter's bf is going to Iraq in about 2 weeks. His national guard unit was called up and he has been training for the last four month.

I would like to purchase some calling cards for him to use. I am totally ignorant on this subject. First off is/are there any one(s)
better than the others? What am I looking for? Will he be able to call home very often (if at all)? For those who have had family or friends in Iraq how long are they there before they can call?

I know these are probably a lot of dumb questions but any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

powellrj
09-25-2004, 07:40 PM
I am not sure if its the same for everyone, but my DS just buys phone cards over there, He said he can't use the ones we send him and he just refills his card for $50 whenever he runs out of time. They seem to last a while, but I can't say how long they last because I am not sure who he calls. There is no rhyme or reason to when he calls. Its just whenever he gets to a phone. Its been in the middle of the night and the middle of the afternoon. He will call twice in one week and then we don't hear from him for a month. Sometimes he can just talk for 5 minutes and other times it has been for over an hour. I'm a lot of help aren't I?!?!?!?! We hear from him on AIM. He seems to have much more access to computers than to phones. We have an account just for him that uses the cows moo to let us know when he is online and everyone runs to the computer!! He called us as soon as he got there to let us know that he arrived safely. Never feel like any question is a dumb question and never be afraid to ask. I even asked where to buy brown towels so I am queen of the dumb questions!!! Give him our best and let us know how things go!!!

Auggietina
09-25-2004, 08:07 PM
Hi! It all depends on where he will be is what card he can use. Most places AT&T is the primary card they can use. The best deal is to get him a global card. These are the best rate at .28 a minute if you buy them through:

http://www.aafes.com/

Then I just refill his card when he starts to run low on minutes. He then doesn't have to fumble around with a lot of cards he only has to worry about the one and I have the pin # just in case he ever loses it!

At the camp he is at now he has to purchase the cards there to use the phones.

Internet access is really good. We were able to use Yahoo IM on a daily basis when he was at his base camp. Now that he is remote I get one phone call a week.

I got my first phone call from Germany where they stopped to refuel. I didn't hear from him again for a week. Until they are settled into their camp, communication isn't the best, also Kuwait is a zoo and there is A LOT of soldiers coming in and out of there everyday so the phone/internet lines are usually long.
Ask any question you have! I know first hand that with the National Guard getting information isn't as easy as with the active duty military. You can't just go ask your neighbor who is dealing with the same thing.

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
09-25-2004, 08:33 PM
DH has called everyday so far and it is 7 cents a minute if he uses a phone card-not AT&T though- but something local he got there. He is getting a cell phone and I am not sure how that will work. He did use AT&T card while in Germany, Kuwait, and Baghdad though.

He is issued a laptop, so I get lots of e-mail too. :D There are also computers and phones set up for anyone to use at the camp.

Thought I would add DH is a reservist so we had to figure most of this out on our own-he is not really even with a unit either-we are still learning. So ask all you want! :D

It really depends on where he will be and what he will be doing as to what type of card he can use and how often he can use it.

4nana
09-25-2004, 09:10 PM
Good luck to your D's BF.
He should be able to call soon after he gets there to let her know he arrived safely. Then, you may go a stretch as they may convoy to their destination. I am surprised to learn that some hear something every day....so great for you! Our son in regular Army and we do not hear near as often as some are speaking. I'm thinking, it may depend on their unit, base and what type of job they are in. Our son's wife and our family feel very fortunate if we get a phone call or email every 8 -10 days. Whoever is the lucky recipient passes to the others. It is difficult waiting and wondering and we depend a lot on our faith.

Thus far it has taken a month for our letters and cards to reach him. We sent a pkg 3 wks ago and still no word of receiving.

God bless all our soldiers ^i^
:hug: Sandie

powellrj
09-25-2004, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by 4nana
Good luck to your D's BF.
He should be able to call soon after he gets there to let her know he arrived safely. Then, you may go a stretch as they may convoy to their destination. I am surprised to learn that some hear something every day....so great for you! Our son in regular Army and we do not hear near as often as some are speaking. I'm thinking, it may depend on their unit, base and what type of job they are in. Our son's wife and our family feel very fortunate if we get a phone call or email every 8 -10 days. Whoever is the lucky recipient passes to the others. It is difficult waiting and wondering and we depend a lot on our faith.

Thus far it has taken a month for our letters and cards to reach him. We sent a pkg 3 wks ago and still no word of receiving.

God bless all our soldiers ^i^
:hug: Sandie

We have found if we send the packages priority they usually arrive in 10-14 days. When we don't use priority, it has taken up to 3 months for somethings to arrive. Priority mail isn't that much more expensive when you factor in the cost of your boxes which are free. His birthday was at the end of June and he got our gifts the 1st week of July. Others who sent packages are still waiting on them to arrive.

krazyboutWDW
09-25-2004, 10:07 PM
Thank you all so very much for the info. I will pass it on to my dd and her bf. Thanks especially for the good wishes. We are very nervous and dd gets more and more apprehensive as the time for him to leave gets closer. (I know ya'll have all gone through this already!!) I am just hoping that he is able to call not only my dd but also (especially) his family!! I know how hard it is for us! I can't imagine how hard it will be for them or for all of you who already have your loved ones there. A huge:hug: to everyone!!

I imagine I will be here often asking a lot of questions/ or soliciting advice. I hope I don't wear out my welcome with too many questions. Thanks again to everyone!! I pray that God keeps all our wonderful men and women safe.

4nana
09-25-2004, 10:16 PM
Thanks Powellrj,
I guess we just happen to get a slow airplane....LOL! We paid $22 for priority and was supposed to be there in 1 week. :( I'm thinking at this rate, we should send his BD (Xmas Eve) and Christmas pkgs out real sooooon...LOL!! :scratchin

<a href='*******************************************ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/11/11_1_103.gif' border=0></a> Sandie

powellrj
09-26-2004, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by 4nana
Thanks Powellrj,
I guess we just happen to get a slow airplane....LOL! We paid $22 for priority and was supposed to be there in 1 week. :( I'm thinking at this rate, we should send his BD (Xmas Eve) and Christmas pkgs out real sooooon...LOL!! :scratchin

<a href='*******************************************ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/11/11_1_103.gif' border=0></a> Sandie

We have been thinking the same thing!!!

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
09-27-2004, 06:35 AM
DH told me they said that mail can get backed up. I only send priority too-have even insured as I have DVD's etc. in there. BUT, I must say, he got 2 today from us. One was mailed 12 days ago and the other 7 days ago! :D Not bad! Much better than Desert Storm in this area. I received a box from him in 8 days, and postcards in as long as 9 or short as 6. Really no rhyme or reason to any of it. :p I am just happy when he/we get something! :teeth:

Auggietina
09-27-2004, 07:02 AM
When I mailed out dh's laptop he rec'd it in 5 days. And it was a BIG box. I have mailed out regular size boxes and it has taken up to 6 weeks for him to get it. It all depends on the mail flow I guess. Absolutely no rhyme or reason!

I did hear that Nov 12th is the cut off date for mailing packages for the holidays

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
09-28-2004, 06:02 AM
Well, now DH has a phone on his desk that takes AT&T cards,so go figure! :cool: No rhyme nor reason to that either.

Glad to know the Christmas cut off date for packages. Like I mentioned, he is not with his reserve unit-was just plucked for this job-so you all are my only real source for info like that. Thanks. :D

katerkat
09-28-2004, 03:28 PM
Wow, I must say, the Air Force has it much better! DH isn't stationed in Iraq (let's just go with "near there") and while he does have computer access, they aren't allowed to use AIM or anything like that. So I get two or three emails a day. He also has my laptop, but they're not allowed to use their own computers on the Internet. However, the base has a phone room set up to make regular calls right to Washington - it on;y costs us if DH calls my cell phone (not a local number.) They're only allowed 2 15-minute phone calls a week.

But packages, we're so spoiled on that one. A plane from here goes to the base over there every Monday (bringing more people, then another crew comes home on the plane at the end of the week), so I just have to drop off a box early Monday morning and DH gets it on Wednesday when the plane gets there!

ellyn2000
09-30-2004, 05:47 PM
FYI---I'm a member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary. You can go to the VFW web site and order free phone cards to be sent to your soldier. I think it's the Auxiliary's web site. You can request a new one every 60 days. We had them sent to my son in Iraq.

dopeys biggest fan
10-17-2004, 12:04 AM
I looked all over the internet and finally just went to best buy and bought an "overseas" calling card. the rate my DH gets is pretty good and it is rechargable so when his time gets low and can put more money on it.

I hope this info helps you! If you need anything in the future, please feel free to pm me!