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Press Release
August 14, 2006
VFW provides computers to link families with deployed Army National Guard Soldiers
The Oregon National Guard has received its first four Gateway laptop computers to allow video conferencing between a soldier in Afghanistan and his/her family in Oregon/Washington. These internet-ready, web-cam equipped machines were delivered by Burt Darnielle, Military Assistance Chairman for the VFW, Department of Oregon.
Accepting the first computer is Michelle Stanley, Battalion Coordinator for the 41st Special Troops Battalion stationed in Afghanistan and Major Mote, the Commander of the 41st Special Troops Battalion. Also present for the occasion were Dan Wakefield, VFW Department Commander, and Wayne Sharp, Quartermaster, of the OR VFW and Betsy Kingsbury, the Family Assistance Specialist at the Family Center at Camp Withycombe.
Two of these laptops will be sent to Camp Phoenix in Afghanistan for the soldiers to use and the other two will be placed in Oregon for the families to use. One is located at the Camp Withycombe Family Center in Clackamas OR. If you are presently in communication by letter, e-mail or phone with a deployed solider and would like more information on how to videoconference, please call Betsy Kingsbury at (503) 557-5339, Monday through Thursday.
The Oregon VFW has been very active in supporting deployed troops and their families. Burt Darnielle said there are now 404 of these computers on loan nationwide - an effort designed to help military families connect with deployed soldiers through e-mail and videoconferencing. Michelle Stanley said that she was sure many National Guard families, especially those without computers or video cameras, will be excited to actually see their child, spouse or parent using this new equipment. She said, "We are very grateful to the VFW for their generosity in recognizing this need."
The soldiers from the 41st Brigade Combat Team are primarily volunteers from throughout the State of Oregon. Their mission is to train the Afghani National Army with the secondary mission of helping to rebuild the infrastructure and patrolling from remnants of Al Queda and Tailban. They are expected to return form this deployment in June of next year and after completion of the mobilization process will be back to their homes in July.
VFW Donation of Computers
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office
Kay Fristad
cell 503-931-5179
Capt Mike Braibish
cell 503-932-5805