My father is military. His first deployment was hard for my mother. We all missed him of course. He was gone for a year, but really that year goes by pretty fast. Especially when they get a 2 week R&R, usually half way through the deployment. I never sent messages to him. He would call when he got the chance to use a pay phone. His second deployment he got a little lap top with a webcam and we talked to him on that.