Posted: May 26, 2012 5:11 PM by Christina Lysacek (MTN - Bozeman)
Updated: May 28, 2012 7:42 AM
BOZEMAN- A Bozeman funeral home teamed up with a national non-profit organization to help keep our troops connected to their loved ones while their deployed. Cell Phones for Soldiers provides pre-paid calling cards and free phone services to deployed military members.
"I think what they do is fantastic. I really wish we had the opportunity to use their services," said Sgt. Jack Morehead, a member of the 163rd Cavalry Regiment. Sgt. Morehead returned home to Belgrade in September from a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
"It's easy to lose sight of when the deployment will end so being able to call home every day or whenever you got the opportunity keeps you grounded and keeps you strong," said Sgt. Morehead.
Cell Phones for Soldiers was started in 2004 by two children and since then they have provided more than 150 million minutes of free talk-time to soldiers.
"We so often take for granted that we can pick up a phone and call our mom or dad and obviously for our troops that are deployed overseas that's not always an option for them. So, this program really facilitates that and what a great way to help out as a community. We can join together and get these phones collected and sent off," said Dokken-Nelson Funeral Director Chris Remely.
Remely asks that you bring gently used cell phones your family doesn't use anymore to their office and the company will match every phone donated through the end of the May.
"Every phone that's brought in is worth two and a half hours of talk-time," said Remely.
Morehead told us that one cell phone could easily provide a troop with a week's worth of calls home.
If Dokken-Nelson receives 200 cell phones, their match will double the amount of talk-time from 30,000 minutes to 60,000 for those same cell phones.
"The organization is absolutely amazing. It shows how important family is for deployments, and to keep that connection with your troop just makes all the difference," said Courtney Bagnell, Sgt. Morehead's wife.
Dokken-Nelson will continue to work with Cell Phones for Soldiers throughout the year and will remain a drop-off site for phones, but they urge you try to donate your cell phones before the end of the month so those phones can count as part of their match.