More than 130,000 of the bravest Americans currently serve overseas far from home, sacrificing much to defend America’s interests. Not the least of their sacrifices is being disconnected from family and friends.
Fortunately, high-speed Internet is helping some of them communicate with loved ones back home—those who are fortunate enough to find broadband connections in the field. Yet even so, the challenge often remains how to reach families back home in the U.S. who happen to live in areas not served by cable and DSL providers.
Doug and Angie Reinsch, a couple living in Kirksville, Missouri, found themselves in this exact situation. Doug was to be deployed for a year in Iraq while Angie stayed home in Kirksville with their three children. As Angie explains, “We were previously using dial-up but it was extremely frustrating to do even simple things online such as send email and view pictures our friends and family would send us. And when we got word that Doug was going to be away for a year, we knew we needed something better to keep in touch on a regular basis since dial-up simply wasn’t cutting it.”
Fortunately for Doug and Angie, a family friend and owner of a local business, Mid-America Wireless, told them about HughesNet®, the leading high-speed Internet service by satellite. They learned it’s available across the U.S., regardless of location. The only requirement is that the satellite dish must have a clear view of the southern sky. It didn’t take long for them to sign up, and soon after, Angie and the rest of the family were able to stay in touch with Doug throughout his deployment.
The Next Best Thing
During Doug’s deployment, Doug and Angie communicated every day via email and often through Web cam sessions. “Sending an email faster than before is great, but seeing someone live is simply not possible with dial-up,” says Angie. “And hearing Doug’s voice telling the stories and updates on how he was doing was not only great for me, but our kids as well.”
The connection back home in Kirksville benefitted the Reinsch family in other ways as well. “Angie sent me pictures of the kids every week or so, so I always got a fresh look at them since I couldn’t see them in person at all,” explains Doug. “I know she would have had to take hours each week to accomplish this over dial-up, and sometimes if we were both online at the same time, I could get the pictures from her very quickly. Since we can’t get cable or DSL from where we live in Kirksville, this is a huge advantage over what dial-up could provide our family.”
It may seem simple enough, but as Angie explains, “the highspeed connection was so important for keeping Doug and the rest of us in touch with one another. While you can measure the difference between dial-up and HughesNet in speeds and how much each service costs, you can’t put a figure on the value of all the extra emails, pictures, Web cam time, and instant messages between Doug and our family. We literally got more time with each other because of the connection, which made it the perfect investment for our family.”
Now that Doug is back home, the Reinsch family is already using HughesNet for new ventures and activities. “I run a JuicePlus business from home, so I use the service to communicate with customers and run the Web site,” said Angie. “And we use the connection as a key part of managing our family finances; Doug and I check our bank accounts and pay bills online which helps us save a lot of time.”
Time together, as the Reinschs know well, is truly priceless.