View Full Version : Beaufort Marine Families Receive Free Computers

01-25-08, 07:37 AM
Beaufort Marine Families Receive Free Computers

Posted: Jan 23, 2008 05:46 PM

Updated: Jan 23, 2008 06:51 PM

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Deploying is never easy for any service member, but through Operation Homelink, one organization is doing their part to help Beaufort Marines and their families during their time apart.

It was like Christmas at Marine Corps Air Station today as Operation Homelink gave out 130 refurbished computers to Beaufort Marines and their families who are dealing with a deployment or will be soon.

"It is amazing, you have no idea how it touches more than just me, but the family at home," said Sgt. Patrick Wiley.

Sgt. Wiley will be deploying to Iraq in March and says without this computer, he wouldn't be able to be in communication with his family the way he'd like to. "They'll get to talk to me and email me and see things," said Sgt. Wiley. "I'll send pictures from Iraq and they can see Daddy, where he's at and what he's doing."

While he's away, this technology will allow him to keep up with his children. "They can send pictures to Dad," said Sgt. Wiley. "Dad can show off his kids as they grow up. In six months, he'll be talking and she'll be running faster."

This new computer couldn't have come at a better time for Megan Shytle, whose husband is deploying to Iraq in just a few weeks.

"Means we don't have to go during library or the community center hours to be able to talk or email," said Shytle. "I don't have to drag my kids out of the house, we can email all sorts of things during the day and night."

Not only will this computer be more convenient, but Megan says having reliable communication will help ease her mind while he's gone. "Oh it will be so much better to have this communication especially because with the time difference, he works during the day, and that's night and that's when nothing is open," said Wiley.

Knowing how these computers will help these Marines and their families is what the owner and founder of Operation Homelink, Dan Shannon says this mission is all about. "It gives us great comfort to know that we can do this small thing because the bottom line is I personally feel that I owe a debt of gratitude that I can never repay to these people that serve our country," he said.

Shannon started Operation Homelink about a year after 9-11 and with the help of corporations donating their computers, his organization has been able to refurbish and give away 2,500 computers to families of servicemen and women.

For more information on Operation Homelink, visit www.operationhomelink.org.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com