A lot has changed since the days when the only options available to servicemen and women serving abroad for keeping in touch with loved ones back home was the US Postal Service and rigidly scheduled and very brief long distance phone calls.
Today, members of our armed forces and their families can keep in regular touch using social media networks like Facebook, and replace the crackly long distance phone calls of past years with the high quality, hi-resolution video calls now possible using applications like Skype.
The US military was at first wary of allowing soldiers to use Facebook. Access to the world’s largest social network was restricted until 2009 due to concerns about potential security breaches. But, the armed forces have warmed up to the latest web revolution, understanding the boost to morale that staying in touch with home can provide to service members deployed in locations thousands of miles away.
But social media is not the only online resources keeping the troops occupied during overseas tours of duty.
The Armed Forces Network has kept the troops company since its introduction in 1942, at the height of the Second World War. While many Americans think of AFN as a radio network, it has kept pace with technology in recent years, providing servicemen with access to a variety of Internet services, including Internet Radio and live streaming video of major events and sports & entertainment programming, including Hollywood movies, TV shows and major sporting events like the Super Bowl and World Series.
For servicemen enjoying a little R&R, today’s Internet holds plenty of other options not previously available.
Members of the military can spend some downtime on base playing their favorite casino games at JackpotCityCasino.com. Providing all the dazzle of Atlantic City, JackpotCity is a top gaming destination for servicemen looking to unwind by playing online slots, blackjack, roulette, poker and other exciting online casino games.
For those looking for a different type of gaming experience, countless role playing games (RPGs) are available to play for free on PCs, smartphones and tablets.
With options ranging from the simple, addictive games available through companies like Zynga to the top titles available through services like the PlayStation Network, members of the military can engage each other and friends and family at home in head-to-head multiplayer gaming action like never before.
Of course, these are uncertain times, with our armed forces facing threats from new and far flung enemies that have proven adept at using social media and gaming.
While the Internet now enables our warriors to keep in touch and enjoy some of the privileges of home, service members and their families are constantly encouraged to use caution and common sense when online to ensure their safety and security, both overseas and in the homeland.