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'Instant Iraq'

Local woman featured in GPTV documentary

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POSTED: April 28, 2007 5:04 a.m.

Tara Crooks’ husband is in Iraq. But despite the miles, continents and oceans between them, modern technology has allowed them to communicate on a somewhat regular basis.

Captain Kevin Crooks left for Iraq in January on his second tour. His deployment is for one year.

"We talk on the phone, but not as often as you would think," said Crooks, a Richmond Hill resident. "The phones are very difficult (there). Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

"We also talk through Yahoo! Instant Messenger three to four times a week and through e-mail. I get at least one e-mail a day."

Crooks’ communication with her husband and the ways military families communicate with their soldiers while deployed is the subject of the Georgia Public Broadcasting production "Instant Iraq," which premiers Monday night at 9 p.m.

Crooks said she was initially contacted by the producers of the documentary because of her web site armywifetalkradio.com.

Created two years ago this month, the web site features a weekly, one-hour live radio show that Crooks and others produce that discusses topics related to military wives.

"We do a once-a-week live show for military spouses," she said. "We have a lot of people who participate…there are women who do the news, and talk about relationships and money. We also have people call in. I would never claim it to be all me. It I didn’t have listeners I wouldn’t be on there."

Crooks’ Monday night shows are available on her site for download and she said she has an average of 800 to 1,000 downloads weekly and she said most of her listeners are wives and mothers of soldiers, though some men participate as well. She said she plans to continue the radio program even after the war has ended.

Her mission of the shows is about support and teaching people about additional resources.

"It’s about the community and a way to reach the community so they can listen and communicate," she said. "We cover lots of topics that don’t have to do with the war. It’s very non-political. I don’t even allow (politics)."

A spin-off of her original site prompted Crooks to create fieldproblems.com, a site where she and others answer questions from military wives.

"(This site) resulted from our other site getting lots of questions," she said. "We get about three to four questions a day and we answer every one. It’s mainly for support and bridging connections. We don’t create new resources; we just point to resources that already exist."

"Instant Iraq" will look at the ways families communicate with their deployed family members, highlighting people from across the state. The documentary will air at 9 p.m. Monday night on GPB station WMUM/29 out of Savannah.

 

 

 

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