Families send soldiers love

first_imgPASADENA – Julie Byler sat by her two sons, trying to keep the tone light and the tears from spilling as they videotaped a holiday message for her daughter, who has been stationed in Guantanamo Bay since September. She passed on wishes for a joyful Christmas from grandma, news from an aunt and a present from one of the family cats, Moth, of a furball. “We really wanted to tell you how proud of you we are and how hard it is,” Byler said. “We love you and we miss you. Call more.” Byler, who lives in Arcadia, and her sons, Nathan Byler and Bryan Carlson, were taking advantage of “Operation Best Wishes,” a program that allows families and friends to send live videos to people serving in the armed forces overseas. The program began last year in Southern California, with more than 125 families recording Thanksgiving and Christmas messages. This year’s “Operation Best Wishes” program kicked off last month at credit unions in North Carolina and Virginia and moved to the West Coast earlier this month with events in Riverside, Coronado, Camp Pendleton and San Diego. It’s a joint project of WesCorp and Counter Intelligence Associates, which provides live webcast services. Byler’s daughter, Cameron, wasn’t able to view the message live due to technological difficulties on her end but watched an archived version about five minutes later. “We just want her to laugh,” Byler said. “She doesn’t sound very joyful.” Whittier resident Raisa Mironowski, along with her husband, daughter and father, sent a message to her son Eric, who was deployed to Nicaragua two months ago. “Greetings from L.A.,” she told him. “Wish you a blessed Christmas. Encouraging you to continuously serve God, and God has a real purpose in your life even though you’re in Nicaragua.” The holidays are a time for sharing, Eric’s father, Peter Mironowski, said on the video. “This year has gone and it went so fast Eric,” he said. “This year has been good to us. But let’s hope that next year will bring us something better.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4494 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more