Deployed Fort Carson parents see children graduate from high school
June 4, 2009
- Fort Carson sets up communication link for deployed Soldiers
- Communications link set up to broadcast local high school graduation
FORT CARSON, Colo.-What are the most important moments in a parent's life' The day their child is born' Their child's first step, or first day at school' Surely no parent would want to miss their child's high school graduation.
Unfortunately in the modern Army, with deployments taking Soldiers away from their Families for more than a year at a time, some parents are missing many of these precious moments.
Technology, however, is helping Soldiers experience more of their children's lives. Deployed Soldiers can now attend their sons' and daughters' high school graduations via webcam.
Over the past month Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and civilians from the Directorate of Information Management have broadcast high school graduations over the internet for deployed Soldiers.
Sgt. Meagan Washburn, brigade communication, 2nd BCT, 4th ID, and Dan Todd Beck, chief of the Visual Information branch at the Directorate of Information Management, explained the process.
The team uses up to three video cameras, that send their images to a video switcher were the images can be viewed. The switcher allows the operator to choose which of the three images to broadcast.
The footage than gets sent to DOIM, where it is broadcast over the internet. Deployed parents can than watch the graduation at www.carson.army.mil/grad. Beck said this program started in 2006. The idea was brought on because Soldiers who deploy miss so much of their children's lives.
"When we started it was the 15-month tours, and they missed out on a lot." said Beck.
On May 23, Washburn and her equipment attended the Fountain-Fort Carson High School graduation.
Graduating was Maj. Gen. James M. Milano's son Anthony. Milano is stationed in Bagdad with the Multi-National Security Transition Command.
Milano was unable to watch the feed live due to work, however, the footage is available online and the VI staff has made a high-quality DVD of the event.
"My wife Kim and I are very proud of our son, Tony. He's a great young man." said Milano.
The Milano family plans to be reunited in July.
Ten other children of deployed parents also graduated from Fountain-Fort Carson, however they were not aware of the opportunity they had to watch their kids walk across the stage.
"We plan to get involved with the USO to make more servicemembers aware," said Beck.
So far only Fort Carson and a few other posts are offering this service, however the Visual Information Branch plans to make this service available to the other military posts in the Colorado Springs area. The team also set up to record graduation ceremonies for Doherty and Widefield High Schools.