Because of the time difference overseas and the availability of the overseas calling centers, the time your Marine may call you varies widely. Many calls come in during the middle of the night. We suggest leaving a notepad and pencil on your bedside table to both make notes of things you would like to share with your Marine, and to make notes during the phone call.
Overseas Calling Centers
There are now calling centers in many locations, even some desert camps. There are currently two types of calling centers in Iraq and Afghanistan: AT&T and Segovia. AT&T provides regular land lines and Segovia provides less expensive VOIP (internet) phone lines. Both are reliable and clear. Your Marine will want to have both types of calling cards during deployment--most locations have either AT&T or Segovia, but not both. Depending on where your Marine is will determine what type of calling card to use. For more information about calling cards and where to purchase them, the Calling Cards links to your left.
Morale Calls Via Satellite Phones (SAT Phones)
In some areas in country, the USMC may allow limited "Morale Calls" from satellite systems. Should your Marine be allowed a morale call, it will be short, generally 5-15 minutes or less. If they are using a satellite, there will be a delay between transmissions in both sending and receiving; what you hear has already been said, and what you say will take a few seconds for your Marine to receive. To get an idea of what the delay is like, consider the delay the news channels experience when they use satellite transmission. Sometimes the call may be less than a minute, but its' certainly good to hear a voice on the other end.
About Computer-Based Internet Software Phone Calls
Services such as Skype now offer internet phone calls through your cable modem or DSL connection. Your Marine may or may not have access to the software to make or accept phone calls like this. To date, we have no confirmed or official information that the use of calling with computer-based internet software is permitted in combat zones. There are other overseas locations that do allow and/or have access to such services. Check with your Marine for additional information. (Updated November 18, 2007)
Free Calling Cards
Operation Uplink offers free calling cards to Marines deployed overseas. Visit them online and apply for a calling card at this address: www.operationuplink.org.
AT&T Overview For Marines Learing How to Call Home
The following AT&T web site will assist military personnel and their families: www.usa.att.com/military/ or call AT&T customer care representatives - toll free - at 1-888-Salute2 (1-888-725-8832).