Smiles Over Miles bridges gap between families, service members

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Smiles Over Miles gave military members and families a unique way to keep in touch with each other. (Christina Thompson, NewsChannel 12 photo)

If you come from a military family, you know how hard it can be when a family is going through a deployment.

The USO of North Carolina knows when a family member is away, you just want to talk to them. That's why the downtown Jacksonville location on Tuesday hosted Smiles Over Miles.

The event gives families the chance to record a video message for each other. The deployed loved one gets a message for while they are gone and the kids get a book read to them via video recording by their deployed parent. The USO puts it all together.

"It will be like watching him on video not sitting next to you just in video instead," Jeff Weller of the USO of Jacksonville. ":Kind of like 'he's there. You can see him but in video'."

The event was free for active duty military, National Guard and reserve military ID card holders.The USO in Jacksonville is the last one in the country to continually host this event.