ANSBACH, Germany (September 4, 2019) -- The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach American Red Cross opened the first Resiliency Room in Germany on Katterbach Kaserne during a ribbon cutting ceremony, today.
"As you all know, this can be a very stressful job, not just being in the military, but working with military or being around a military base sometimes," said Capt. Jason Worthington, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander for USAG Ansbach. "So, we definitely thank the American Red Cross … we really appreciate you for putting together this resiliency room that anyone can use."
The initiative started when Vanessa Lockey, an American Red Cross representative in USAG Ansbach, attended a Community Resiliency Team meeting. Lockey and those in attendance discussed different stress factors and how to alleviate some of those issues.
"When I was a stay-at-home spouse and my husband would come home, he didn't have a transition coming straight from work to home with three kids," Lockey said. "He thought that was going to be his relief, whereas me being home all day with the kids, I thought him coming home was going to be my relief, so neither of us was getting that break.
"A room like this, if he could come here and just take 20 minutes to clear his head he could come home and take some of the work off my plate," she said. "And, in turn we are helping two people by helping that one."
The Resiliency Room, located in bldg. 5817, room 230, has a massage chair and leg rest with heat, ambient lighting, a sound machine, stress balls, stress-free coloring, as well as left brain and right brain puzzles.
Lockey said the location of the room is ideal, not only because it's close to the post office and central processing facility, but family advocacy is located just down the hall from the American Red Cross offices.
"They have a lot of families in stressful situations come through there, and sometimes they need to just walk out and take a break," she said.
Mike Beando, USAG Ansbach Directorate of Human Resources director, thanked Lockey for the effort and time she put into this project and many others while she worked for the American Red Cross in Ansbach.
"Vanessa has been here for a year ... she came here and worked relentlessly to get this spotless, and the turnaround is amazing," Beando said. "To make this happen, she put in so many hours. She's been here working around the clock, Saturdays and Sundays and holidays, to make this happen."
Lockey, who is about to PCS back to the U.S. with her family, wanted to make sure the Resiliency Room was up and running prior to her departure.
"I think what's really important is that everyone knows it's not just for Soldiers, it's for family members, spouses, contractors - the whole community," she said. "It's just a place where people can clear out the noise."