I would like to share some disturbing information I just received from my son, 1st LT. Ryan Cowan. Ryan was recently deployed to Afghanistan for nine months. Upon his arrival, while settling in, he inquired about getting the Internet to stay connected to his family and friends. He was rudely awakened by this cost! He had to purchase the dish at an out-of-pocket, immediate expense of over $2,000, and then will be charged a monthly fee of $1,200!

Luckily, other members of his platoon are willing to share this expense to defray the cost. I realize having the Internet is a luxury, but waking up to an email from your son is such peace of mind!

In sharing this frustration, my goal is to make the public aware of this financial burden to our soldiers and perhaps get input as to where I can turn to for some guidance. DONNA COWAN

Pittsfield