Normally in Wisconsin, you can find Alexandra “Lexy” Huber serving as the Senior Services to Armed Forces Program Specialist, supporting service members, veterans and their families and connecting them to local and available resources.
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However, right now, Lexy is stationed in Djibouti. She is one of 23 Red Cross workers currently deployed on behalf of the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Division. They support U.S troops on bases in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In her role as a Station Manager, Lexy delivers emergency messages to those stationed at Camp Lemonnier and within the surrounding area of operations in the Middle East and Africa. This base is the only Red Cross deployment site to offer free First Aid/CPR/AED courses for service members.
In addition to these services, a huge portion of Lexy’s role is to offer snacks, toiletries, games, free WIFI, and to lend a listening ear to anyone who needs one. She says that connecting through morale-boosting activities is a great way to show support for service members who are so far from home.
We asked Lexy if she could share with us what a typical day looks like for her. Here’s a peek at one of her recent journal entries:
Note: Time is displayed in military time.
0700: Time to get up, or maybe sleep in a little.
0715: Okay, I am definitely awake now! I make sure my teeth are brushed, my hair goes up to keep me cool and the dust away, and then I apply ALL the sunscreen.
0730: Head to breakfast at the galley. I like to start my day with a glass of lemon water and some fruit, nice and light when it’s 120 degrees outside!
0800: Get into the office, check my emails, check the Emergency Communication Message queue, get a pot of coffee going for folks when they come in and make sure the office is ready to open for service members.
0830: We are officially open! Welcome to the canteen! Here you can get snacks, free WIFI, water and some awesome A.C. to keep you cool in this heat. We’re open every day so soldiers and the camp community can enjoy our programming any time.
0850: It’s time to go to the department head meeting with base leadership. I get to report my weekly developments, hear what is happening on base and talk with department heads about upcoming activities.
0950: I’m off to the Newcomers Briefing to talk about Red Cross and all our awesome activities. It’s fun to see all the new faces on camp and introduce myself, so they know who to look for when they are out and want to say ‘hi’!
1030: Back to the office to check in on my emails again, the Emergency Communication Message queues, and start planning for my afternoon.
1130: Lunch time rolls around and service members who work near the office start coming in to visit. I greet them with a smile, a “Hi, how ya doing?” and a chat about our days. Lots of service members like to eat lunch at the canteen because it is closer to their offices than the galley and the “take-out” galley is just around the corner. I welcome their visits.
1300: The lunch rush dies down so time for me to get a bite to eat! Another light meal of fruits, veggies, and maybe rice and beans? As a vegetarian on base, it’s important to have a balanced diet, especially when options for non-meat eaters are limited. Luckily, I have years of practice as a vegetarian, so I know what fills me up and leaves me feeling ready to take on the afternoon.
1400: Game time! Every week, on the same day, we host a game day at the office. What started as a small group, has grown into a popular afternoon activity. We always try to switch up the games; Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Disgruntled Decks, Ticket to Ride, Sequence – whatever we feel. It’s a fun way to build relationships and give service members a nice reprieve in the middle of their long days.
1630: The office is closed, but that doesn’t mean activities end yet! Time to set up for our First Aid/CPR/AED Courses. Camp Lemonnier – Djibouti (CLDJ) is the only Red Cross deployment site that offers free training services courses for our active-duty service members. My awesome volunteers and I take turns teaching the classes.
1830: Class is over, time to work out! I like to go to CrossFit, Ultimate Frisbee, or if it is really hot, the indoor gym on base. My workout changes day to day, but I always make sure to get moving as a way to end my day. It gives me time to refocus after a long day and connect with the movement and action of the workout. It also keeps me healthy, which in a deployed environment is key.
1930: With my workout over, time to shower and race to the galley before dinner ends.
1950: Whew, made it just before it closed! A quick light bite for dinner; again involving fruits, veggies and rice and beans. This is usually before meeting up with friends for a movie, playing ping pong at one of the social spaces on camp, or retreating to my room to read and prepare for the next day.
2200: Bedtime! Going to sleep with a smile on my face after another awesome day at Camp Lemonnier.
To learn more about how we support service members, veterans and their families in the U.S. and across the globe on military bases and hospitals, click here.