NIC connects families with solders in Iraq
Sergeant Matt Whaley is in Iraq but on Thursday morning, for the first time, he got to see his 14 month old daughter, Casey Jean, walk. Casey and her mom, Jenny Whaley, talked to Matt by a Videoconference set up in Molstead Library on the North Idaho College campus.
Matt’s wife and daughter were joined by his parents Karen and Mike Whaley, grand parents Jeanne and Jim Whaley, Matt’s brother Chris and sister-in-law Katie Edington and Father-in-law Wade Edington.
Casey was only eight months old when Matt was deployed so she had to demonstrate her new skill, walking, on the table in front of the camera; she gave an excellent demonstration keeping those seated busy. She also managed a “Da-Da” in between attempts to eat the microphone.
A lot of time was spent getting Casey to look at her dad who waved and smiled getting her attention.
Jenny talked about how good, and fast, Casey gets around now.
Matt laughed and teased his brother about having a job.
Wade told him he would have a hunting license waiting for him.
After about 20 minutes Karen suggested everyone leave so Jenny and Matt could have some time alone. Jerry Turner, technician from Distance Education who was operating the systems, set the camera on Jenny and left the room with everyone else leaving the couple alone.
Outside Karen, who hadn’t seen Matt since October, said, “He looked awesome.”
In another conference four generations came to visit Chaplain Robert Kinnune. His one hundred year old grandfather through his two teenage sons had a chance to talk face to face, or camera to camera.
Dianne Lemley, of the Family Readiness Group, who organized the event and is mother of Kinnune, said “a lot of families have Web Cams but seeing them nearly full sized on the large screen is a more meaningful experience.”
During the morning five families visited with loved ones in Iraq.
(cutl line) Casey Jean Whaley, on table, shows her dad, Matt, on screen from Iraq, how well she walks. Others from left, Karen Whaley, Jenny Whaley , and Mike Whaley. In background is Jerry Turner technician.