Posted by: Jacqui Murray | October 7, 2011

Servce Members Call Home–For Free

Three cheers to Google Gmail for providing free calls home for servicemen. Read this:

Free calls home from Gmail for all U.S. service members

We understand that it’s not always easy or affordable for our troops serving overseas to call friends and family at home, so starting today we’re making it completely free for all uniformed military personnel with valid United States Military (.mil) email addresses to call the United States, right from Gmail.

There are two easy steps to enable free calling from Gmail (detailed instructions):

  1. Add your valid .mil email address to your Google Account
  2. Click on the Call phone link at the top of the Gmail chat roster and install the voice and video Gmail plugin if you haven’t already.

And don’t forget that for friends and family at home in the U.S., calling troops abroad is as little as $.02/minute.

Similar to free calling within the U.S., free calling to the U.S. for service members will be available for at least the rest of 2011.

We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices U.S. troops make when they serve abroad, and we’re proud to help make it a little bit easier for them to stay connected and hear a familiar voice.


Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member SIGCT, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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Responses

  1. This is a great service. I’ll share it with everyone who comes through our USO office!

  2. My son’s headed for Kuwait of Afghanistan in March. I’ll be sharing it with him to use daily.

    Are most USO offices open 24/7, Nicky? He’s going to be stuck in the Atlanta airport overnight. I’m hoping they’ll keep an eye on him.

  3. Jacqui, they vary depending on size and volunteer activity. I think Atlanta’s is huge and likely open 24/7. Ours in Boston is only tiny & open depending on when we have folk available to man it (& we have nowhere for folk to sleep – it’s just a small lounge where folk get some peace and a snack in between flights etc). Atlanta is a huge military hub though, so these places tend to have better facilities due to the increased need. Chicago is another one like that – huge! Some of them serve hot meals and all kinds of goodies!

    • My daughter was stuck in Baltimore overnight and the USO closed at 10ish. Luckily, she was with a group of stuckees. I think my son will be alone, so I am crossing my fingers the USO will keep an eye on him for this worried mom.


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