America Supports You: 100 Military Families Get Free Computers
American Forces Press Service
MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, N.J., Dec. 9, 2005 Operation Homelink, in cooperation with Northrop Grumman, presented 100 refurbished computers to military families from several New Jersey bases, including McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix, Fort Monmouth and Lakehurst Naval Air Station. The computers were distributed Dec. 8 at McGuire's Family Support Center.
Army Spc. Michael Henderson picks up his computer along with his wife, Shanno, and children, Jon, Emma, and Isabelle at the Family Support Center, Fort Campbell, Ky, Henderson was recently released from Walter Reed hospital after a recent tour in the Middle East. He is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, based on Fort Campbell. Photo courtesy of Operation Homelink
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Most servicemembers have e-mail access on ships and even in desert outposts. Lower-ranking military families, however, are often not able to afford computers, and must rely on other methods of staying in touch, such as postal mail or expensive phone calls to stay in touch. Operation Homelink, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, links American servicemembers deployed overseas with their families back home through e-mail communication using computers donated from corporations.
Deploying servicemembers were thankful for Homelink's efforts.
"This is a Godsend," said Jennifer Lahn, whose husband Michael is a private in the Army National Guard's 117th Cavalry Regiment out of Vineland, N.J. "Thanks for making the miles disappear."
"This computer will provide my parents piece of mind because they will be able to email me to know that I've doing okay and I'll know that everything is fine at home," said Spc. Katherine Quiring, with the Army National Guard's 250th Adjutant General Detachment out of Fort Dix, N.J. "Given the different time zones, it will make communicating during deployments much easier.
"Northrop Grumman understands the importance for military families to have the ability to communicate with their deployed servicemen and women," said Kent Schneider, president of Northrop Grumman Information Technology sector's Defense Enterprise Solutions business unit.
He said his company understands the importance of service families staying in touch with their deployed servicemembers. "We support the mission of Operation Homelink and can't think of a better way to 'recycle' computer resources," Schneider said.
"Operation Homelink is looking for a few good corporations to support our military families by simply sending us their old computers. No additional monetary donation is required," said Dan Shannon, president and founder of Operation Homelink. "We are especially appreciative of the support that Northrop Grumman has provided, donating over 350 computers to date."
Homelink officials said they need at least 25 used computers right now - laptops with Pentium II-equivalent power and desktops units with Pentium III power - so that families can connect properly with their servicemembers.
To date, Operation Homelink has successfully linked more than 1,200 families.
(Based on a news release from Operation Homelink.)