mansfieldnewsjournal.com

Powered by You and The News Journal


 

E-mail feedback

ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT

Iraq Journals

Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.

Multimedia

Interactive timeline, image gallery

Recall key dates, browse defining photos from six weeks of combat in Iraq. (Requires Flash)

 

Recent headlines

General: Iraqi troops improve

January 26, 2005

Parties waging a polite battle to control Najaf

January 25, 2005

In Iraq, the question is: To vote or not to vote

January 25, 2005

Politics popular in Shiite areas

January 20, 2005

 

Also on the Web

Dispatches from Iraq

Special coverage and photo galleries of American troops serving in Iraq from The Honolulu Advertiser.

Iraq In-Depth

Take an interactive tour of Saddam's hide-out and capture at USATODAY.com's Iraq home page.

 

GNS Archive

Click here to browse more than 1,000 Iraq war news stories from the front lines and the home front.

 

 

Wednesday, April 2

Senate approves pre-paid calling cards for troops

By Sergio Bustos | GNS

WASHINGTON - U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may soon receive monthly pre-paid phone cards worth $40 to allow them to call home.

The ``Troops Phone Home Free Act of 2003,'' sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, was approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill has yet to be introduced in the House.

``This bill would ensure that the brave men and women who are putting their lives in harm's way for the cause of our protection are not forced to pass up on opportunities to talk with their loved ones because of the cost of placing such calls," said McCain.

One Marine corporal told McCain's Senate staff that he didn't have enough money to call his son on his birthday, McCain said.

McCain's legislation is part of a stampede of bills and resolutions introduced by lawmakers since the start of the war with Iraq.

Apart from the legislation, 50 U.S. telephone companies have voluntarily agreed not to cut off telephone service to any military family during the war and to provide reduced long-distance rates for calls to Iraq or Afghanistan, McCain said.

Andrew Telephone Company President Milt Cornelius in tiny Andrew, Iowa - population 450 - wrote McCain, promising his company would not disconnect service to area military families. The community has 19 men and women serving in the war.

William P. Heaston, vice president and corporate counsel of PrairieWave Communications in Sioux Falls, S.D., wrote: ``I am a retired Army officer, who served in Vietnam and other remote areas, (and) I can assure you that PrairieWave fully appreciates the benefit to morale and military service that the ability to communicate with loved ones brings.''

PrairieWave serves small communities in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

McCain said large companies, including Quest, Southern Bell, SBC, Verizon, AT&T, MCI, Sprint, also have written to support the voluntary measures.