The water main break was causing damage to SSgt. Simon’s yard—one of those frustrating, sudden, house emergencies that would frazzle even the handiest homeowner, let alone one who was serving abroad, thousands of miles away.
SSgt. Simon* serves in the Air Force, and he is currently deployed overseas. His wife emailed him to let him know about the emergency. Email, or a messenger app, is how he stays in touch with home: before the start of his deployment in a remote area, he shut off his personal cell phone. He tried to call his base in hopes that someone could transfer him to his wife, but it was Labor Day weekend: no one was around.
Finally, he reached the chaplain serving with his unit. The chaplain told him about Cell Phones For Soldiers and the calling cards we send to troops serving abroad, and gave him a card to call home.
“I’ve been here a few months now with emails and online messaging being the only contact I have with my wife in my time off,” SSgt. Simon wrote to Cell Phones For Soldiers. “When I called, she was very shocked, surprised and made to feel at ease all at the same time, just by hearing my voice.”
In an hour-long conversation, SSgt. Simon’s wife updated him on the water main break—it turned out to be their town’s responsibility, sparing them the costs and headaches of repair—they were able to reassure one another, he was able to chat with his mom, and he could hear his puppy running around in the background.
“I’m not an overly emotional man, but your donation of that one-hour phone card got me choked up, and my wife, too, when I said ‘Hello babe,’” he wrote. “We were able to talk and calm each other down over the event in a manner that didn’t involve sending 50 emails over three hours.”
On his own, SSgt. Simon started spreading the word about Cell Phones For Soldiers among his fellow Airmen.
When you donate to Cell Phones For Soldiers, you’re not just recycling an old phone or mobile device, or giving a tax-exempt gift. You’re donating peace of mind. You’re donating the opportunity for an Airman to call his wife in an emergency; the chance for a Soldier to call her son to say ‘happy birthday’; for a Marine to wish his parents a Merry Christmas. You’re giving the chance for our nation’s bravest to check in with the ones they love, and for their loved ones to hear their voices in times of crisis, times of joy, and everything in between.
To support our mission of keeping our troops in touch, please visit our donation page.
Cell Phones For Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
*We have withheld SSgt. Simon’s first name and other identifying information for security purposes.