WIESBADEN, Germany – Living in a small village in Croatia close to the border of Hungary as a young girl, never could she have imagined that one day she’d call Germany her home and the U.S. Army her employer. But that’s exactly what’s happened.
Divorced with two adult children, Emina Pecanin was contemplating a major lifestyle change – a new career in a new country. Fast forward five years later, Pecanin said she’s very happy with the decisions she’s made, since.
After moving to Wiesbaden, Pecanin applied for and was offered a contractor job with the U.S. Army. She started out as a kitchen helper at the Stronger Together Café on post and worked her way up to shift leader. After about four years there she made the jump to the Logistics Readiness Center Wiesbaden Central Issue Facility, 405th Army Field Support Brigade as a full-time, local national Army employee.
“I do everything,” said the LRC Wiesbaden CIF supply technician. “My main job here is assisting service members with turn-in and then shipping that equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency in Kaiserslautern, but I do a little bit of everything. I work with customers helping them with their initial CIF issues and their additional issues, I handle turn-ins, and I do a lot of the paperwork.”
“I’m a quick learner so in just a few months I’ve learned almost everything there is to know here at the CIF,” said Pecanin, who’s been working there for six months. “And thanks to my team, they’ve gone out of their way to share information and knowledge with me.”
“And if I’m being honest, I think I’m a little bit of a workaholic,” said the 45-year-old mother of two who still works weekends at the Stronger Together Café, occasionally.
When Pecanin made her decision to leave her home country of Croatia and move to Germany, it wasn’t easy. She said she comes from a very tight-knit family, and they were in shock when she told them her plan. Now, five years later, she’s very happy with her decision, and some of her family members are asking if they should follow her lead.
“They know how difficult it was for me to make the move and how hard it is emotionally to be separated from them,” said Pecanin who has a 20-year-old daughter studying economics in Croatia and a 19-year-old son living in Germany working construction. “Now, some of my other family members are asking me if they should come to Germany, too. I only say ‘yes, if you’re ready to work hard and fight for what you need – then come.’”
“I like working for the U.S. Army at LRC Wiesbaden,” said Pecanin, who admits her English is better than her German. “I get to work with people I respect, and I enjoy supporting Soldiers. I enjoy being helpful to them and seeing them smile. There is always something going on here. I’m always busy, always moving, always thinking and always helping.”
“I like to work at CIF because everyone I work with is a team player, and we are always helping each other and supporting each other. And that’s the most important thing when working in a job like this – being honest and trustworthy and cooperative,” said Pecanin, who received a promotion when she went from dining facility shift leader to CIF supply technician.
Pecanin said jobs are very scarce in Croatia so making the call to come to Germany, although emotionally tough, was absolutely the right decision for her.
“To be honest, I’m very happy I decided to come to Germany and find a job here with the U.S. Army on post. Working with American Soldiers and American people is nice. Much like Croatia, everyone is nice to you and talks nice to you,” said Pecanin.
So what’s next for Pecanin? “I don’t know. We’ll see what life brings me.”
LRC Wiesbaden is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th AFSB. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, transportation and food service management as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, property book operations, and non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Wiesbaden directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.
LRC Wiesbaden reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.