Nancy Canady wanted to see her son one more time before he was deployed to Iraq. With the help of Saint Leo University, Fort Lee Center and the Army Community Service facility at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, she was able to do just that.

Sgt. Heaven Star Canady was busy making preparations for his second deployment to Iraq in December, but was more than willing to take time out to have a video teleconference with his Family on Nov. 30, which happened to be his 28th birthday.

Canady was greeted by nine Family members with balloons and a giant birthday card in tow. His parents Willie and Nancy Canady; sister Yolanda Trisvan; brother Shabaaz Canady; nieces Shakera Trisvan and Nancy Ellsworth; nephew Cla’trey Canady; and aunts Ruth Chestnut and Virginia Lyttle were all there to wish him a very happy birthday.

Canady, his wife Katrina and their 9 month-old daughter Ariyanna were able to spend an hour talking with Family members.

“It was wonderful, said his mother, Nancy. “It was just like he was sitting on the couch in the living room with us.”

Canady deployed from Schofield Barracks with the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Saint Leo University has partnered with the Freedom Call Foundation to use its Video Teleconferencing equipment to provide contact between service members and their Families stateside.

The Saint Leo University, Fort Lee Center was established in 1974. It was one of Saint Leo’s first out-of-state continuing education centers, serving more than 1,000 military and working adult students each year. 

For details on the Freedom Call Foundation, visit the Web site at www.freedomcalls.org, or for details on Saint Leo University, visit www.saintleo.edu/fortlee.