Messages Home: Feb. 4, 2009

From Loretta Jasper, CSJ, who is spending a month working at Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany. To learn more about her mission, click HERE.

It is truly amazing to see the vast number of contracted service providers on the base: civil service and civilian. The gamut includes behavioral health, building construction, repair of radio and vehicles returned from combat; aka,down range, since it is less expensive to transport them to Germany, since the parts, and such are on hand.

I am staying in Hotel Villa, which is a 13-room, three story home-like setting, which has full size family-style breakfast prepared; foods available to pack and hand-carry a noon lunch; and a family style eve. meal served at such time the guests in the house return from work. Angelika, the owner, makes it a point to provide a home away from home, since some of her guests return multiple times for several months at a time. These oftimes are married folks with spouses and pre-adult children in the States. Currently, one of the guests (John) and myself are the only persons working with the behavioral health componant. John lives in San Diego. Of the remaining guests, there is one other woman and the rest are males: vehicular repair, radio repair, electronic update–skill sets which are precise. This current group comes from Alabama, Washington State and Texas.

I was made aware this a.m. that Vilseck where I am assigned is increasing in size by the days and months as troops return, re-integrate and return to the USA, or are redeployed. Needs for staffing, housing and various services re.: integration are keeping folks on their toes. Months 4-6 months of return from Iraq/Afghanistan seem to be post-honeymoon re.: marital relationships, individual tending to the traumas of loss, separation, role shifts, etc. are a concern for staff. This a.m. one of my resources used the term de-laminate: unable to shield oneself from the traumas…emotionally break down.

Today I tended to many initial contacts with existing services within Vilseck and Graf (Grafenhofer): chaplains, school principals in post based schools, director of the addictions program, etc., etc. Since our work involves rotational staff, I have taken my leads from my predecessor who returned to Glendale, CA. yesterday, in anticipation of my partner in service provision arriving on the weekend. As we stated while working with Katrina issues in New Orleans: our job is to move needs “along to” solution vs. closure. The intent is to provide as much collaboration and seamlessness as possible.

Once again, each of you is in my pocket. I am not alone.
Loretta Jasper

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