Story by MC3 Carla Ocampo
Photo by MC3 Lex T. Wenberg

Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got the opportunity to see and talk to their loved ones through Defense Connect Online (DCO) Oct. 18 through Oct. 25.

DCO is a video teleconferencing program offered to Sailors and their families to help keep them connected over deployment. It gives both parties the opportunity to see and hear each other as if they were in the same room.

“I know this is a trial and even with the bugs I thought it was really nice to get to see my family,” said Seaman Paul Roberts. “ It was great. I mean, who would be disappointed to see their loved ones.”

During this eight-day trial session Sailors get a chance to speak to their families while helping Command Religious Ministries Department (CRMD) work out the kinks.

“We want to be able to figure out if this program will work for Sailors and which browsers are more optimal,” said Senior Chief Religious Programs Specialist (SW/AW/FMF) David Walsworth.

During their allotted time Sailors are able to talk to their families one at a time in a private area.

“This is only the test trial; in the future we will try and get more computers for Sailors,” said Walsworth. “I really think Sailors are going to be excited about this. It’s a great tool.”

There are many ways Sailors can keep in touch with their families whether its mail, e-mail or phone calls, but now Sailors have the opportunity to actually see their family, keeping them closer together while on deployment.