I just read a post on The Official Google Blog that had me shaking my head in agreement. Google invited U.S. Army SGT Dale Sweetnam to write about his experiences in Iraq. I thought it was going to be the usual stuff, but it wasn’t:

“I spent 13 months in Iraq as an Army journalist where I flew in Black Hawks over Balad and Baghdad working to generate news coverage about my fellow soldiers. The whole experience was physically and emotionally draining, but it was especially difficult when I called home at the end of the day and nobody was there to answer.”

As a veteran, that last sentence hit me like a brick. I understand and anyone that’s away from home for long periods of time does as well.

Google wants to help

I’m sure most everyone has read about Google Voice and how it can be configured to ring several different phone numbers when an assigned Google phone number is called. Having that sort of system would not guarantee a connection, but it has to improve the odds of people in the service of our country reaching their loved ones instead of voice mail.

One problem

Originally, Google determined that the best way to roll out their Voice applications was by invite, that way the ensuing onslaught would be manageable. However, once Google figured out what SGT Sweetnam was talking about they decided to give priority to all service personnel. Here’s their invitation:

Google Voice invitations for military personnel: Being in the military often presents unique challenges for staying in touch, which is why we are giving away priority invites to military personnel.

Please leave your .mil email address (so we know you are in the military), and we’ll send you a Google Voice invite within a day or two. If you don’t have a .mil address, you can request an invite here. You need to be in the US and have a US phone to sign up for Google Voice.”

Final thoughts

If you know of anyone that has friends or family in the service, please let them know about this. I feel it is important to get this information out to as many people as possible.