A lot of soldiers are getting the opportunity to phone home because a lot of people rolled up their sleeves and gave of themselves—literally.
Morristown Medical Center participated in the USO-sponsored "Operation Phone Home" program from June through early September. Through the program, each blood donation made to the regional hospital counted toward 20 minutes in prepaid phone card service for a service member overseas from New Jersey's Fort Dix.
In an email sent to donors, Donor Recruiter Shelly Tornetta announced Monday that "we’re donating over 450 hours of prepaid calling card minutes.
"Although it is not possible for us to express the degree of our appreciation and gratitude, we genuinely thank you for your support," she said in the email.
The Operation Phone Home phone card program began in 2003. The phone cards are distributed through USO centers overseas and, most often, are delivered directly to military units abroad, according to the USO website. One hundred percent of the money raised for the USO Operation Phone Home program goes to the purchase of phone cards and operation of the private telephone network the program operates on.