CHICAGO (Army News Service, May 29, 2009) -- Families of deployed Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers had a unique opportunity to get some questions answered about their loved ones serving in Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Steven Huber, Task Force Phoenix VIII commander and Chicagoan and Maj. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command, Afghanistan, participated in a live Web cast, May 16, which was televised at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

This was the second in a series of Web cast conversations, which gave Illinois National Guard families the opportunity to stay connected with each other, interact with community leaders and learn more about the ongoing mission of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

"It was good to hear from servicemembers about how they readjusted after deployment," said Kris Fuhr, whose husband is deployed with the 33rd IBCT. "We appreciated the chance to meet other military families and hear more about the mission in such a great place."

This is the first deployment for Kris' husband, Lt. Col. Dan Fuhr, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry commander based in Chicago.

Along with families of Illinois Soldiers, leadership from the 33rd IBCT was also present, including Capt. Matthew Garrison also of the 1st Bn., 178th Inf.

Garrison, a Chicago native, is the battalion officer in charge while Soldiers from the 178th are deployed to Afghanistan with the 33rd IBCT. He said there were approximately 15 family members of 178th Soldiers at the live Web cast.

"It was an impressive gesture on the part of the organizers," he said. "The best part of the event was the White Sox Family Day."

After the live Web cast, families had the opportunity to explore U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Activities included photos with the White Sox mascot, a walk on the major league baseball field and a tour of the team's club house.

(Sgt. April Hawes serves with Illinois National Guard Public Affairs.)