I made my first deployment back in the Dark Ages. It was 1978, to be precise, and I went with my first ship on an Indian Ocean cruise. The only way we had to communicate with home was with hand-written letters. They could/did take weeks to make it to their destination. Mail was a high-priority item for the deployed fleet. It would come from the APO in San Francisco, then flown out via whatever route they chose to Diego Garcia, then flown again up to the aircraft carrier we were with. The guys on the carrier would sort it into bags that would be picked up by the daily helicopter runs and dropped off at each individual ship. A couple of hours later, we'd hear those words "Mail Call!" over the 1MC (loudspeaker to you non-Navy folk).
It's quite different now. This screen shot was taken just a few minutes ago when I was having a video chat with Janis. Being able to see and talk to her nearly every day (at least when our internet is up and running) is really a godsend. And, if nothing else, there's email. It all makes this deployment so much more tolerable.
One thing hasn't changed. Mail can STILL take weeks to get here. Go figure.