FORT HOOD, Texas- Troopers with 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division participated in the United Through Reading Military Program with the United Services Origination in their headquarters building on Fort Hood Dec. 8.

The program keeps the Soldiers and families connected through books. The Soldiers use video cameras to record themselves reading a book then send the tape home for the family to see and enjoy.

By providing Soldiers with a wide range of books for many ages of children, the program helps Soldiers keep in touch with their families from miles away. After choosing books, they go to a quiet place provided by the program where volunteers record them reading the books for young loved ones in their family. Once the Soldier finishes, they can mail the books and recording to their family to enjoy.

"I've done this before and my son really enjoyed it because it made him feel like I was still at home. He asked me to do it again for him, he would play it every night at bed time," said 2nd Lt. John Arterson, from Albany, Georgia.

Spouse volunteers ran the event. They said they were happy to give their time, provide promotional tools and offer options for getting necessary equipment.

"It makes us feel good to volunteer, make a difference and help connect deployed Soldiers with their loved ones," said Noelle Wehmeler.

The program is easy and inexpensive to implement and effective in building command and family morale. It is available to all deploying military as well as sponsored through participating commands and units.

Having good resources like this is great for keeping families in touch and building morale.

"I thought about doing this last deployment, it's a good idea and wish that I had because it'll make my kids happy and isn't something they can get just anywhere," said Sgt Christopher Harris from Charlotte, N.C.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16