For military families, emails and phone calls are precious, and too few and far between.
As Valentine's Day draws near, one Creek County couple has some advice on how to stay connected to loved ones in Iraq.
News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims talked with them about a website that helps folks on the homefront reach out to their Marines.
Rick Phillips sits down at his computer just about every day, hoping for a sign that his son is still ok. He's a proud military dad but that doesn't stop him from worrying. Both of his sons, 21 year old Nick and 24-year-old Chris are serving in Iraq. And keeping up with them isn't easy, satellite phones have delays and can drop out at any time.
Rick Phillips: "yeah we've done that several times six or seven phone calls within an hour just to finish a five-minute conversation."
Rick says even email could sometimes take days, then he stumbled on to another way to connect, a website called ReachaMarine.com
On this site the whole family can log on, post messages, and read posts from Chris and Nick.
They can even trade photographs. The Phillips say its made reaching out to the war zone a little bit easier.
Rick Phillips: "thats why this is so nice cause atleast we know he's still alive he's able to communicate nothing bad has happened."
Starla Phillips: "it has made it so much more bearable if you can say bearable about these kinds of things it has made it from the first time to this time a little easier."
The messages ease a mother's heart but they also give a marine something to look forward to.
Starla Phillips: "I am deeply grateful for the person who made this available to us It's the most wonderful thing for a parent going through what we are to have and everybody needs to know about it.
The Phillips won't be posting messages quite as often anymore. They just got the call that their younger son is coming home.