Troops call home for the holidays

Troops call home for the holidays

About a thousand military personnel per day are calling home from centers MCI has established at strategic military sites in Iraq.

From Dec. 22 through Jan. 5, the carrier is providing around-the-clock free calls from more than 45 phones set up at the call centers. Through Christmas night, about 3,000 troops used the phones, said MCI spokeswoman Debbie Lewis. 'There's a 30-minute wait to get in to use them,' she said.

For troops and families traveling through or stationed or recuperating in the United States, the carrier has provided more than 93,000 100-minute pre-paid calling cards, which are being distributed by military support groups. Calling cards also have been provided to Walter Reed Army and Bethesda Naval medical centers, and distributed at Baltimore-Washington and Atlanta Hartsfield airports.

For Marine Corps personnel calling home from Okinawa and Camp Fuji in Japan, the company has lowered its rates from Dec. 20 through Jan. 5. It also is completing free calls placed through the Military Affiliate Radio System.

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