From the home front, to the front lines

By Rontina McCann – bio | email

MILFORD (FOX 19) - Karen Huff takes a second to send a quick message on Facebook to her son.  Her son, Sgt. Shane Huff, U.S. Army, is serving in Afghanistan. The Huffs use Facebook, text messaging and phone calls to keep in touch.

This is her son's second tour of duty, the first was in Iraq. She says communication with her son has improved since the last deployment. While he was in Iraq, she typically got phone calls about once a week.

"Now every three or four days, he is able to text, sometimes everyday," Huff said.

She wonders how we'll be communicating with the front lines in the next two years.

Right now hearing from the battlefields and camps in the Middle East is a little more sporadic. That is because U.S. Troops have been in and out of River City in June and July.

You won't see River City on a map, its a status. River City is "military" for reduced communication status. When fighting and casualties increase, the amount of information from and to troops decreases. A cutback in communication is likely because July is the deadliest month for the U.S. with 66 military members killed in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Seeing the reports of troops killed and an increase in fighting causes anxiety for Karen and every other family with a loved-one serving. Which is why she says the last thing she tells her son is I love you.

"I always say love mom, you always have to tell them you love them because you just never know," Huff says.

"You are sick to your stomach and you are holding your breath. You feel like you can't breathe. Sometimes he will tell us how long it will be before he calls or emails again. You hate counting the days away but you feel like you can't wait until that day comes when you know he is suppose to call," Huff says.

That moment came at 2:35 a.m. Tuesday. She spent 10 minutes on the phone with her son. Now the waiting begins all over again.

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