Calling Home For The Holidays, Via Video From Iraq

Play associated audio

For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.

The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.

But while they're glad to be able to see one another, Lindsey and Paul acknowledge that the separation has also been a difficult one, at times.

"It was really hard for me at first. I would cry every time we would talk," Lindsey says. "But I love to just see him and know that he's OK. Because it's one thing to talk to him and hear his voice, but to see him and know that he really is fine helps me sleep better that night."

"We're obviously very fortunate that we've been able to communicate so often," Paul says. "It was very difficult with Natalie — you know, I'm very glad that I got to see her birth. But it was very difficult for me not to be there. And sometimes just talking to Lindsey and hearing Natalie — it reminds me I'm not there."

Paul's Army National Guard unit will be leaving Iraq sometime "within a couple weeks," he says.

With the withdrawal date looming, "a lot of people are still trying to find out if they're going to make it home for Christmas," he says. "And others are wondering which MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) may be the closest to their Thanksgiving dinner."

For her Thanksgiving meal, Lindsey plans to eat with her family — "we'll be thinking about Paul every second of it," she says. And she'll also save some turkey for her husband, she says, so he can have a sandwich when he returns home.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.