Site Lets Families Keep Up With Soldiers

Monday, April 28th 2008, 6:25 pm
By: News On 6

Technology from the 21st Century allows military families at home to keep up to date with their loved ones serving in the Middle East.  News On 6 anchor Scott Thompson reports a private company has contracted with the military to help families as well as the media.

It's called the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System, or DVIDS.  One of the most recent postings is an update on Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Division.

Images come in from 7,000 miles away. You can see members of the 45th Infantry Division in action from Baghdad.

"I think the practice that we do here is very important. I'm the first line of defense after we get the applications," said 1st Lt. Taressa Gaines of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Oklahoma troops are working with coalition forces and Iraqi nationals. They're distributing identification badges for those wanting to get inside Baghdad's Green Zone.

"We're one of many levels of security. You have the entry control point and the Marine's at the gate that keep people out. We also have badges that help keep the bad guys out," said Staff Sgt. Mark Auld.

The footage comes courtesy of Georgia-based DVIDS. The company has been contracted by the military to provide video updates of the men and women serving overseas. Access to the website is free and available to anyone, just register and search. One of its most popular features is the Mother's Day greetings section. The 45th is currently being featured in two different stories.

"We're here to help the Iraqi people and this is one big step in helping them," said Oklahoma Army National Guard Captain Joshua Lawson.

The soldiers recently helped re-open an electrical sub-station, and then turned control of the facility over to Iraq's Ministry of Energy. It's as easy as signing on to the World Wide Web to keep up to date with Oklahomans who are proudly serving their country.

"I can't say enough about this project.  It's been very rewarding. Really heartfelt for the Oklahoma people to be able to do something for our fellow countrymen in Iraq," said Oklahoma Army National Guard Major Eric Tuck.