War never changes, but it’s getting closer to home

I’m forward deployed in the middle east for my third time, and I’m writing this from an iPhone. I Facetime with my kids daily, and the wife and I snapchat each other often, mostly of each other with snap mask filters and silly faces. Today all of this is almost expected, if not taken for granted. The ability to do any of this on my first deployment a decade ago would’ve been unthinkable. Back then I looked forward to the satellite phone calls I could make once, or if I was lucky, twice a week. The internet, when it was available, was a slow crawl to open an email and a few minute wait for MySpace to load. Then if a problem happened at home it was already resolved by the time I heard anything about it. Now I email my insurance about quotes, and buy replacement appliances for my home during dinner, and get a phone call about my kids being sick before they even get a chance to go to the Dr.

Throughout history other advances in communication have narrowed the gap between frontline and front door. I imagine the first battlefield letter ever sent brought that soldier and his loved ones the feeling of being together, if for just a moment, just as much as the first phone call, first instant message, first video chat, or even snapchat did. I’m curious as how close to home I’ll feel in another ten years.