Project Video Connect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/14/03

Project Video Connect

Workers at the Red Cross are dedicated to doing what they can to relieve the miseries of war. One important part of that facilitating communication with soldiers. And now, they have a new tool: video email.

"Regardless of what internet service provider the soldier uses, as soon as the soldier signs on to check email, it will become part of that email list," said Savannah Red Cross' Dick Sanders. "So he can click on it and he's got up to ten minutes of video from home."

Project Video Connect is a free service available locally at the Red Cross chapters in Savannah and Hinesville. It's a partnership between AOL for Broadband, who provides the connection, Hewlett-Packard, who donated the hardware, and video software maker VIDISolutions. And these days, the internet is often the best way to contact a soldier.

"I'm talking with family members whose spouses are out in the middle of the desert somewhere, and they're being given a period of time on a satellite uplink to send an email or make a phone call," said Sanders.

Whenever a soldier in the field get the opportunity to check his email, he just might have a video message from home. Of course, the internet can go just about anywhere.

"It's wherever they are," said Sanders. "We've got the Ranger battalion here, and those guys are all over the place. Nobody ever knows where they are, but a lot of times they can access email."

This is a completely free service that any loved one of a military member can access. To set up an appointment, call the Savannah chapter at 651.5395 or 651.5314 or the Hinesville chapter at 876.3975. For other locations around the country, visit the Project Video Connect website.

Reported by: Charles Gray, cgray@wtoc.com

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