Yesterday I was walking down one of the ship's passageways when I came upon a fellow officer who works in the ship's Intelligence Center. He was standing in a line with several other sailors, waiting for his chance to use the VTC. The VTC (Video Tele-Conferencing) system, installed in the Admiral's Briefing Room, otherwise known as the "War Room," is meant for secure teleconferencing between multiple ship and shore sites. On this deployment, in addition to its official uses, VTC is being used to give sailors a chance to see and speak to their loved ones back home.
As I passed by my friend standing in line I noticed that he had a big smile across his face. He told me that in a few minutes, when it was his turn at the VTC, he would get to meet his son for the first time. His son was born in October, a month after we left Norfolk on our deployment. Nearly three months had passed since Owen was born, and while his wife had sent pictures and video, this was the first chance that he would have to actually meet his son. Several thousand miles, on a TV screen, he would get a long overdue chance to see his son and talk to his wife. And still, he will have to wait another two months for a face to face meeting.