45th IBCT’s calling cards bring Christmas cheer, Fallin applauds AT&T

Governor Mary Fallin joined Bryan Gonterman (president of AT&T Oklahoma), Adjutant General Myles Deering and the wife of a deployed Oklahoma National Guardsman to announce the telecommunications firm’s donation of 3,600 calling cards to members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), presently serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait. 

With Fallin, Gonterman and Deering at the Blue Room event was Angela Wyatt. Her husband Dean is on his third deployment with the 45th IBCT. This tour he has been “in-country” since June, she told CapitolBeatOK.

Mrs. Wyatt is active in the Family Readiness Group that works with Guard officials to provide mutual support. She reflected that the AT&T gift of calling cards would have special potency with military personnel and their families: “The holidays are the hardest part of their absence.” 

Fallin cheered AT&T Oklahoma for the gift. AT&T’s gift will allow military personnel to “phone home” to talk with loves ones and friends. 

The state’s chief executive said, “We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to the members of the Oklahoma National Guard for their sacrifice and service to our great nation.  Being away from family and friends is always challenging, especially during the holiday season.  I want to thank AT&T Oklahoma for their generosity and support of the members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their families.”
Gonterman said, “Because our troops sacrifice so much, we owe them more than we can ever really offer.  And while we can never truly pay back our troops for the sacrifices they make protecting our freedoms, we hope that by providing them with a means to stay connected with the ones they love that we can make their deployment – and their time away from family and friends – a little bit easier. 

“It is our sincere honor to provide these calling cards to the brave men and women of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.  We can’t thank them enough for all that they do, but hopefully this will demonstrate our appreciation for their service.”
Maj. General Deering, adjutant general for Oklahoma commented, “During this holiday season, we are all grateful for the support we have received from members of our community and local businesses like AT&T. The men and women of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their families will make great use of these calling cards throughout the remainder of the 45th’s deployment.”
The “Fighting 45th” continues its largest deployment since the Korean War, with service personnel anticipating a return to the Sooner State in spring 2012.