This Mother’s Day, servicemembers at 191 phone and Internet cafes on bases throughout Iraq will have a chance to call home for free.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ “Operation Uplink” program — which normally provides phone cards to deployed troops — will provide free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls for 24 hours on May 14. The program is designed for troops at “isolated” locations in Iraq.

“There are some locations overseas where phone cards do not work. Sponsoring free call events for the military-operated telephone service allows us to fill that gap and extend free calling time to any servicemember virtually anywhere U.S. forces deploy,” said Linda Ferguson, manager of the Operation Uplink program.

For the past seven years, the program has provided millions of free phone cards to deployed troops; but at many locations, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation phone banks do not run on that service. So, for one day, all those calls will be covered by the VFW.

“It’s the least we can do,” Ferguson said.

For more information on the program, visit

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