DOT.COM ConnectFriend Video Conferencing for Troops and Their Families

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ConnectFriend.com was created as a family portal enabling friends and family to stay in touch. We then extended the service to our military families and have made this our primary focus. We felt the need to do something for our troops and their families who are sacrificing so much…a way to stay in touch with their loved ones so far away from home.

tours of duty are being extended and the divorce rate among the military is the highest it has ever been. Most phone communications are on prepaid phone cards provided by the family. Our hope is that our small contribution will ease the burden both financially and emotionally for our troops and their families. There is nothing more precious than to see the face or hear the voice of a loved one.

Our troops who are serving our county in Iraq, Afghanistan and military operations all over the world are separated from their friends and family. ConnectFriend provides those who are separated, a way of staying in touch with video and audio conferencing, onsite messaging, prerecorded video and audio clips, text chat rooms, and space for uploaded photos to “bring a slice of home to those who are so far away.” Linda Eichler, marketing director of connectfriend.com, says “tours of duty are being extended and the divorce rate among the military is the highest it has ever been. Most phone communications are on prepaid phone cards provided by the family. Our hope is that our small contribution will ease the burden both financially and emotionally for our troops and their families. There is nothing more precious than to see the face or hear the voice of a loved one.”

Within the family portal we provide broadband voice, VOIP, and video services over the Internet. The video is near real time and the audio is crystal clear, comparable to telephone. Our voice and video application, a videophone calling system, works flawlessly even on dial-up connections. The video application is Flash based, which is unprecedented as there is no software installation required, so long as the Flash player browser plug-in has been installed...it's just a "click-to-connect" application. We envision our Troops getting little video clips from home seeing their Mom and Dad, or their spouse and their children, or the ability to see their family while they're talking to them. Precious moments for someone so far from loved ones! Using the video phone application is easy and it can be used anywhere Internet access is available. Joe Eichler, CEO said, "We have a family member who is in Iraq right now and became aware that there are limited cost efficient ways for our troops to call home. We have learned that there are places that our troops can gain access to the Internet and some chat with family on instant messenger software. We realized that we are able to help ease the financial burden on our troops and their families and out of that realization grew ConnectFriend. The ability to hear and see your loved ones is paramount."

Unlike many of the video conferencing services made available to our troops, ConnectFriend requires no special scheduling to take advantage of the webservice. ConnectFriend is available 24 hours 7 days a week so the Troops can use it when they have the time.

Those who have not yet decided how to help support the Troops can sign up at ConnectFriend and enjoy a value add service while supporting the Troops and their families. Each paid subscription offsets the cost for providing two free Military accounts.

We need your help; we need a method for getting the word out. If you can help us in our endeavor to support our troops, please contact us.

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Linda Eichler
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