Leave it to the Military Kids: A New Way to Talk to Dad During Deployment

Deployment is hard. Kids miss the parent who is deployed and there’s not a lot of resources to communicate. Especially when the parent deploys to Afghanistan, Iran, or anywhere else in the Middle East, coordinating Skype or Facetime calls are nearly impossible. Combine that with spotty internet connectivity on the military bases and it becomes a real problem.

Military kids have figured out how to keep the line of communication open. How? Video doorbells.

By using a video doorbell, kids can leave messages for dad (or mom). It’s a chance for them to be seen and heard without having to use any fancy digital equipment. They hit the doorbell and start talking.

Then, dad gets the notification on his phone that someone was at the door. If dad’s available in real-time, he can start chatting for a few minutes. Otherwise, the video is there when the connectivity cooperates or the time is available.

It’s not ideal, but it’s a chance to gain some better communication with family members who are deployed.

Particularly with COVID going on right now, many military members aren’t getting the leave that they normally would. Prior to the pandemic, it would be possible to get a week’s leave in order to give hugs and kisses and spend some quality time. Not anymore. As US numbers increase, military members in other countries have to stay put because of quarantine rules.

So, they rely on any form of communication they can.

Considering that deployment will often last six months (and even longer depending on the branch and the servicemember’s job), communication is critical. It’s the lifeline they need to feel connected. It’s also a chance for kids to be able to tell a parent about their day or share something special going on.

Before the Ring doorbell came along, it was difficult to communicate. Sure, kids could write letters and draw pictures. But it may take a week or longer to get overseas. As far as using Skype or other tools, it requires an adult to help with the setup and to coordinate times. When dad is working, the kid is asleep. When dad is finally available, the kid is in school. Coordinating times is nearly impossible.

Yet, some military kids have learned that the answer was right in front of them. They can use the doorbell all by themselves. And because the Ring app uses a server to store the videos, it can be accessed from anywhere – as long as the Ring app and the video doorbell has been installed on the servicemember’s phone.

It’s amazing what a little bit of technology can do. It can deliver all the feels. Many military families have shared clips of their little ones talking to deployed parents via the video doorbells. Facebook and Twitter have blown up with positivity – something we all need right now.

As for those without video doorbells, guess what’s at the top of their holiday lists now? Ring, Arlo, Google Nest, and other brands have doorbells that make it possible to see live video – and for the videos to be stored on a server so that they can be viewed later on.

It may be the cheapest and most effective way for kids to be able to communicate with a deployed parent. It’s easy to install, simple for kids to use and can provide a shining moment for anyone who has been deployed overseas.

As Trump has signed a number of peace deals, it means that many service members will be getting to come back home. For how long is anyone’s guess, but at least some will get to be heading home in the near future. For anyone who will still be forced to be away from family, at least there is hope to stay connected knowing that a video doorbell is the easiest solution.