Like most military deployments, reporting to Camp Lemonnier means separation from family and friends. Being separated does not mean you need to be disconnected from the birthday parties, school activities, anniversaries and other important happenings going on back home.
Thanks to the ever-growing array of communication tools, your ability to share your experiences with people back home is easier than ever. To help you stay in touch, here are some tips you can work to set up before you leave home to make the distance seem just a bit shorter:
- Bring your laptop computer. Many people coming to Camp Lemonnier use their laptop computer to access personal e-mail accounts, blogs, video Webcasting, and other social media sites during their off hours. Internet connections, including WiFi, are available in the MWR facilities here at the camp. Bandwidth can be limited to run some of these programs, especially during peak hours of Internet use.
- Set up a photo sharing site. Want to show people where you are and what you’re doing during your time here? Set up an account on a photo sharing site like Flickr where you can upload your personal photos so family and friends can see them back home.
- Use your social media accounts. Thanks to the Internet access available here at Camp Lemonnier, you can continue to use your Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts to provide updates on what’s happening during your deployment. Just remember that everything you post should adhere to acceptable operational security practices.
- Pre-address some envelopes and cards. In a world of electronic communication, there is still something special about a handwritten card or letter. Before you leave for Camp Lemonnier, write out your name and address and put postage stamps on some plain envelopes or blank cards. This way you make it a bit easier for family and friends to write out a note or card, place it in the envelope, and drop it in any U.S. Postal Service mailbox to send you a little something from home. Your Camp Lemonnier sponsor should be able to provide your unit’s mailing address prior to your arrival.
- Bring your own personal contact list. By bringing along a list of key names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses, you can also work to stay in touch with friends and family around the world while you are away.