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E-mail makes staying in touch during deployment so much easier. Phone calls may be few and far between; replies to real letters lag; but e-mail is immediate. If a morale call cuts you off with “goodbye” and “I love you” left unsaid, you can send those — and other unfinished sentences — with a few keystrokes.

When a parent is far away, e-mail can be satisfying and comforting for children as well. Even small children, who don’t have the ability or the patience to type, can dictate their own correspondence.

Stacy Dumas, of Los Angeles Air Force Base, shared e-mails composed by her son and daughter during her husband’s deployment.

Alex, 7, and Amelia, 4, told their dad the everyday happenings at home and requested details, and even evidence, of his life on the other side of the world:

Hi Dad, It’s me, Alex. I’ve been wondering: How are you doing? Are you doing pretty good or are you down in the dumps with the dogs? So, how was your day? Please message me and please send me an e-mail.

I had an amazing day with Amanda and Erin and I was doing fantastic swimming. I was at the deep end doing wondrous dives. I hope you’re proud of me.

———

How are you doing? Try and pick up some DNA off the ground or some cool rocks and send them in a package to me. Ya know, like business.

———

I really miss you and love you more than anything else in our house. I really hope that you can have a great time and please send us some flash photography. I love you so much I wanna give you a hug and a kiss. Have a great time in Iraq and please help the Iraqi people get back to normal.

———

Is it very hot there? Give me information please. I really need the info. And like maybe we can send you something back from here.

We really miss you.

Love, Alex

Here’s what Amelia had to say:

Dad,

Which day is it? I hope you get really good pictures in Iraq and maybe you could kinda get close to Egypt … And I hope you met lots of new friends there and you can be okay. And then you will be safe and have a happy day. Be careful there because you might find a snake, and don’t pick it up.

———

Do they have nice beds there? You left your sheets here, and Mom said I can use them. I will try not to pee in them, but if I do Mom can wash them.

I ice skated with no one holding on to me. Isn’t that cool? And tomorrow I can have hot cocoa and a quick snack. And we could have a sleepover and have a fun day.

But we can’t go to super duper fun places without you, and we won’t do fun stuff without you, Dad.

We love you very much and we hope that’s a nice trip. And we always are gonna love you and we’re always gonna be missing you every day.

You are gonna stay there a lotta days.

I just love you Dad.

Ok, bye, Amelia

How do you keep in touch when living overseas or during deployment?

Read more and share your own thoughts about correspondence on the Spouse Calls blog at http://blogs.stripes.com/blogs/spousecalls.

Terri Barnes is a military wife and mother of three. She lives and writes in Germany, where she is stationed with her husband at Ramstein AB. Send comments or questions to her at spousecalls@stripes.com.

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