HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Deployed soldiers received a big gift from AT&T on Thursday.
The company donated 1,000 pre-paid calling cards to the Cell Phones for Soldiers project.
The phones will be distributed to deployed soldiers so they can communicate with family and loved ones while serving the U.S.
"As the former commander of Hawaii units fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, I can personally attest how important it is for our brave men and women to call home on a regular basis," retired state adjutant general Robert Lee said. "On the eve of Independence Day celebrations, these cards are very much welcomed and greatly appreciated."
AT&T has partnered with the nonprofit organization for the past nine years, donating thousands of pre-paid phone cards to U.S. troops.
"They have the ability to easily talk to their family back home," Vietnam War veteran Jim Boersma said. "What more could you ask for if you're sitting on some remote hill top 8,000 miles away from your loved ones?"
Cell Phones for Soldiers, founded by siblings Brittany and Robbie Bergquist, has collected more than 7.5 million cell phones and provided military personnel with more than 90 million minutes of pre-paid calling cards since 2004.
"We have to do everything we can to support our people who are deployed so far away. And the most important thing for someone that far away is connection with their family, and this does it," Boersma said.