News: Operation Homelink donation helps deployed service members keep in touch
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Families around Cherry Point and in hometowns across the nation are going to have an easier time staying connected with their service members during deployments after a generous donation from Operation Homelink, an initiative from First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage all Americans to step up in support of the military.
The organization donated 102 web book computers to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and family readiness officers aboard Cherry Point began passing them out to families Oct. 3. Parent or spouses of deploying service members E-5 and below who do not have a home computer of their own are eligible to receive one of the computers, helping them to stay connected via email, internet video calling and social media sites.
"This is going to help me sleep a little easier at night," said Tara Kandybski, wife of Sgt. Christopher J. Kandybski, an aviation technician with Marine Attack Squadron 231. "This is the first deployment I have had to deal with, and this will help me know he's okay."
More than 50 families of Cherry Point personnel will benefit from the web books and about 30 more will go to other 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing families at MCAS New River and MCAS Beaufort.
Operation Homelink is a Chicago-based non-profit organization whose mission is to support U.S. service members and their families through the use of donated computers.
"Receiving this web book will help me know my family is okay," said Sgt. Kandybski. "Thanks to Operation Homelink I will be able to stay in touch with my family through Facebook and Skype."
The families who receive these web books do not have to return these upon completion of the deployment; the computers are theirs to keep.
"This is a huge cost saver to have these web books given to these Marines at no cost," said Mark Laughton, the 2nd MAW family readiness officer. "I hope this goes to show all Marines the support this nation has for those who wear this uniform and their families."
For more information, contact your unit family readiness officer.