VFW officials give troops free talk time on Veterans Day
WASHINGTON — Deployed and hospitalized servicemembers are expected to make about 120,000 calls home this Veterans Day, and it won't cost them one thin dime
Officials from the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization are once again offering "Free Call Day" through its Operation Uplink program
USAA, which offers financial services to servicemembers, is sponsoring the day of free phoning, which is expected to total some 1 million minutes.
"We are very pleased to join forces with USAA, an association recognized as a devoted friend and advocate of the military community, to offer a special Veterans Day Free Call Day," said Dan Shea, the director of the VFW Foundation. "Calling home, even for a few brief minutes, is a tremendous morale boost for our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen, and helps families stay connected despite deployments.
Servicemembers can visit one of nearly 900 Internet cafes in Iraq and Afghanistan between midnight and 11:59 p.m. Iraq time to place their free call home. Callers will need a SPAWAR prepaid personal identification number. The PINs can be obtained by visiting the SPAWAR site, http://www.oif.spawareurope.net/index.htm. SPAWAR is a contractor that provides voice-over-Internet phone service for deployed forces.
In other locations where a PIN number has been requested, the free calls also will be available at hospitals and morale, welfare and recreation service centers on bases worldwide. Users will have to make their calls between the same hours Iraqi time, as well