January 2012 newsletter

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January 2012 OMB newsletter

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January 2012 newsletter

  1. 1. THE SULLIVANS TIMESJanuary 2012 Ombudsman Family Newsletter By Meagan Snyder and Sarah Wester INSIDE THIS ISSUE COMMAND REMARKS……….PAGE 1 OMBUDSMAN REMARKS………. PAGE 2 FINANCIAL AND TAX RESOURCES……….PAGES 3 & 4 “HOW I MET MY SAILOR”………PAGE 5 CRAFT OF THE MONTH & CEILI SCHEDULE ……….PAGE 6 USEFUL LINKS……….PAGE 7 “CAN YOU SPOT YOUR SAILOR?”………..PAGE 8 & 9 OMBUDSMEN AND BASE CONTACT INFORMATION……….PAGE 10 Command Remarks THE SULLIVANS’ Friends and Families,Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you all had a great holiday and are recovering from the stress of theholiday season. Since our last newsletter we have been conducting our operational tasking and had afantastic opportunity to spend the holidays in Haifa, Israel. The crew experienced a much needed breakfrom the daily grind at sea and enjoyed guided tours to Jerusalem and Nazareth, which was truly anexperience we will never forget. We departed Haifa and proceeded to our next port of call, SoudaBay, Greece, for New Year’s. The crew has been working hard and continues to hone their warfightingskills while proving to be a critical asset in support of the President’s policy for Missile Defense of Europe.You can be proud of your Sailors as they are performing exceptionally well in all aspects to include anumber of multi-national exercises. Your Sailors are setting new standards of readiness and excellencethroughout the European theater of operations and have received accolades from the Squadron and FleetCommanders!Please join me in congratulating Chief Petty Officer Chatman, Petty Officer Havens, Petty Officer Wells,and their families as they welcomed new babies to their families in December. I am happy to welcome thefollowing Shipmates who recently reported and their families to our team: BMC Edwards, GMC Myles, FC1Sherry, ICFA Joseph, SN Gonzalez, BMSN Dombovari, HTFR Kendall, CTI1 Sheffer, CTI1 Agee, CTI1Hubenthal, CTI2 Collins, CTR2 Duncan, and CTI1 Barron. Welcome aboard!Our families are always on our mind and it was tough to weather the holidays away from home this year,but the deployment is nearing the halfway point and we will be returning before you know it. I appreciateyour continued support for our Sailors and all that you are doing at home. Please continue to reach out tothe ombudsmen, Meagan and Sarah. They are doing a superlative job as our liaison with you and I amgrateful for their continued dedication the crew. Commanding Officer, CDR Derick Armstrong, sends. 1
  2. 2. Ombudsman remarks By Meagan SnyderJanuary brings a new year full of exciting possibilities and opportunities to improve your life; start fresh andbegin new. January can also bring a lot of stress and worry when the credit card bills start arriving in themail from the holiday season. What seemed like fun and festive giving last month can seem like a hugeheadache now. Facing a large amount of holiday debt can put a huge damper on that “new start” outlook.Here are some statistics to consider:  Only 32% of Americans would be able to cover a 5,000 dollar emergency with cash without going into debt for it.  Almost 14 percent of all credit card accounts in the United States are currently 90 days or more delinquent.  Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.  Today, 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.  700,000 Americans have signed up for a credit card that has an interest rate as high as 59.9%.  One out of every seven Americans is now on food stamps.  One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.  According to a survey released very close to the end of 2010, 55 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. A major economic downturn could quickly wipe out millions of families.Don’t let the holiday debt stress ruin a new year. We have put together a long list of financial recoursesthat can help you learn how to budget, learn how to pay down credit card debt the right way and get on theroad to financial security. We have also listed some valuable tax resources since tax season it rightaround the corner. Many of these websites offer free e-filing for active duty military members. 2
  3. 3. Financial Resources Disclaimer: The listing of any private companies does not constitute endorsement by the US Navy, the command or the Ombudsmen. We are only providing a listing of resources that are available. Feel free to research this topic for additional resources as well.  Fleet and Family Service Center- There are several very informative classes available at the NS Mayport and NAS Jax FFSCs. The class schedules for January have been posted to our Facebook page. If you require additional information, please let us know.  www.mint.com  www.daveramsey.com  www.capitalone.com  www.mindyourfinances.com  www.money.cnn.com  www.kiplinger.com  www.USAA.com  www.bills.com  www.navyfederal.orgMilitary OneSource Free Tax ServiceComing in January 2012: Military OneSource Sponsors H&R Block at Home® Free Tax Filing ServiceIn January 2012, Military OneSource Tax Program will launch the H&R Block at Home® free electronicfilling tax service. File your Federal and State taxes online for free! This is the same program you may haveused before. If you have already created an H&R Block account, your login credentials for that account willstill work and you will be able to access your personal tax information.Please wait for the service to launch here at Military OneSource before trying to access your H&R Blockaccount. This will prevent any applicable charges being applied to your account when preparing to file yourreturn. The free offer is only valid through the Military OneSource site.A brief overview of the program:* Participants must register for Military OneSource and log on to the site for access to the H&R Block At Home (formerlyTaxCut) Basic product. A separate logon for the H&R Block At Home (formerly TaxCut) site is required.* Those eligible for the program are active duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status), spouses anddependent children (authorized in DEERS), family members handling the affairs of a deployed service member, and severelyinjured service members or family members handling their affairs.* Participants will have free access to the H&R Block At Home (formerly TaxCut) Basic product. Those with morecomplicated returns may incur charges if they upgrade to the H&R Block At Home (formerly TaxCut) Premium product.* Participants can file up to three state resident returns for each federal return that they file with the H&R Block At Home(formerly TaxCut) Basic product.* Participants can speak with a Military OneSource Tax Consultant if they have tax related questions, or need assistanceusing the H&R Block At Home (formerly TaxCut) Basic product. Find out more about the program by visiting the Military OneSource Tax page and FAQs at www.militaryonesource.com 3
  4. 4. Filing Taxes When a Service Member is DeployedArnie Norem, Personal Financial Management Program AnalystAlthough it may only be the beginning of January, it is time to decide how to complete and file your taxreturns if your Sailor is deployed. There are several options to consider.1. Tax assistance may be available to your Sailor, particularly on larger ships. If you are going to file, besure your Sailor has all necessary information including IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declarationof Representative for giving another person the ability to file taxes onone’s behalf. Remember, they may also need other paperwork such as: childcare information, homemortgage interest, etc., to complete the return.2. You file taxes on behalf of your spouse and yourself. You will need the information above as well yourSailor’s W-2. To access the W-2 from the MyPay Web site you must have your Sailor’s personalidentification number (PIN). (Or a Limited Access Account created for you by your Sailor)3. File an extension. If you want to wait until your Sailor returns from deployment to do your taxes, youhave an automatic 60-day extension (until June 15) to file your return and pay any federal income tax due.Write “US Navy – Deployed outside CONUS” on top of the tax form when you file. If you need more time,you can file for a four-month extension using IRS Form 4868.You can get help at many installations through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).Check with your legal center to see if this service is available at your installation. VITA volunteers will helpyou file your taxes free of charge. Go as early as possible before the filing deadline to avoid long lines.If your Sailor is deployed and in a combat zone, you can receive relief from compliance actions,such as audits or enforced collections, until 180 days after the Sailor has left the combat zone. Taxpayersqualifying for such relief can notify the IRS directly of their status via e-mail: combatzone@irs.gov. Name,Social Security number, stateside address, date of birth, and date of deployment to the combat zone mustbe provided. Notification can be made by the service member, spouse, or authorized agent orrepresentative. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) notifies the IRS when individuals enterand exit a combat zone. Check the following resources for further information:  My Pay Web site at https://mypay.dfas.mil  IRS form 2848 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2848.pdf  IRS Armed Forces Tax Guide at www.irs.gov/publications/p3/index.htmlThe Armed Forces Tax Guide, Publication 3, provides information on extensions and other tax topics. It isavailable at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p3/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000176333 4
  5. 5. HOW I MET MY SAILOR: HOW I MET MY SAILOR: BM2 Andrew Werner GSE3 Victor Doroy By: Tricia Cieckiewicz By: Erin Doroy I met my sailor online. I was scrolling through It was right before Christmas break. some personals, many of which gave me very And I was in my home room class. When little hope in the male species, and I saw an ad in walked a boy that I knew with athat read "in need of help". My curiosity caught I friend that I had never talked to before. just had to read, and loved what I read. So I answered the ad and held my breath while I Victor walks straight towards me and waited all day for a response. I was so excited when he finally wrote back. We hit it off says something that makes me laugh andinstantly and sent dozens of emails over the next walks away. So the next day he does thetwo days before exchanging numbers. We texted same and so on and so on. I was so each other about every two minutes, cute for interested in him; he made me laugh so star struck teenagers laughable for two nearly hard all the time. thirty year old adults. One day, he finally sends me a letter, Finally after a week we meet for the first time. with “Will you go out with me? Yes or We just felt an instant connection, it’s one of no?” We have been in love ever since. those things until you experience it for the first We were in the 6th grade and were time you really cant imagine the feeling. We fortunate enough to have an open heartspent the most incredible weekend at a beautiful beach front hotel, and I had no doubt I found at that age to find the right one sothat one person I wanted to be with. Andrew is soon. always incredibly sweet, he thinks of everyoneelse before himself, and always loves with all his He is my best friend and the love of myheart. Hes an amazing father and treats my kids life. like his own. I am looking forward to our life together and our growing family. 5
  6. 6. Craft of the Month Coffee Can bank (Courtesy of Family Fun Magazine: www.familyfun.go.com) Wishes Can Come True Ring in the New Year with a project that your child can bank on: A custom container that lets him save up for something he really wants.Materials  Coffee can  Paper  Magazine photos  Paint  Markers  Crayons  Other decorative elements of your choiceTotal Time Needed: 1 Hour Instructions 1. Have your child decorate an empty coffee can with images of what he pines for (a pet, video game, new book). Then cut a slot in the lid thats large enough to accommodate coins and folded bills. 2. Make the first deposit to get him started. UPCOMING CEILISWhat is a Ceili (kay-lee)? A Ceili is simply a social gathering. During deployment and throughout the year, the Ombudsmen host Ceilis to foster friendship and camaraderie throughout the families and Sailors of USS The Sullivans. 13 January 18 February 5-7pm 2-4pm Location: Mayport USO Location: Big Air 2560 Mayport Road 13475 Atlantic Blvd # 8 Atlantic Beach, FL Jacksonville Bring your favorite craft or make a HALF WAY PARTY! Valentine for your Sailor which will be hand delivered to the ship. 6
  7. 7. USEFUL LINKS AND INFONEW BABY REGISTRATION IN TRICARE: Due to the many new and upcoming births here is thelink for information on how register your new bundle of joy into DEERS and TRICARE. This is atime sensitive process: http://www.humana-military.com/south/bene/billing-enrollment/NewFamilyMembers.aspMilitary HOME FRONT: MilitaryHOMEFRONT is the Department of Defense website for officialMilitary Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy and guidancedesigned to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers. Whether you live themilitary lifestyle or support those who do, youll find what you need:Their website is: http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/DEPLOYMENT STRESS AND CHILDREN: If your child is having some trouble adjusting to thisdeployment here are some links for counseling and/or outlets for their feelings:  Military One Source: Counseling is available by calling 1-800-342-9647 or you can visit their website @ www.militaryonesource.com  Deployment Kids website: This website provides activities and children centered information about how to deal with deployment: http://www.deploymentkids.com/  Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC): Your local FFSC can provide options for many different situations regarding deployment. Below is the contact information for our three local FFSC’s.  NAVSTA Mayport Phone: 904-270-6600 https://www.cnic.navy.mil/mayport/index.htm  NAS Jacksonville Phone: 904-542-2766 http://www.cnic.navy.mil/jacksonville/FleetAndFamilyReadiness/SupportServices/Fam ilies/index.htm  SUBASE Kings Bay Phone: 912-573-4512 http://www.subasekb.navy.mil/page_departments_ffsc_home.htm 7
  8. 8. CS3 Clarissa Davis (left) and ET3 Carrie Jackson (right) pause for a photo in the wardroom galley [Photo provided by USS The Sullivans] BMSN John Stanavage shoots a bearing to a contact while USS The Sullivans makes its entrance into Haifa, Israel. [Photo provided by USS The Sullivans]DC1 Bredeson preparing to “pie”DCC White during the ship’s MWR “Pie inthe Eye” Fundraiser.[Photo provided by USS The Sullivans] 8
  9. 9. 3 January 2012-USS The Sullivans in action! [Photo provided by USS The Sullivans]The Crew of USS The Sullivans poses for a picture in front of the Church of the HolySepulchre. Two tours of approximately 80 crew members each were able to takepart in tours of Jerusalem and Nazareth during the holiday port visit in Haifa, Israel[Photo provided by USS The Sullivans] 9
  10. 10. OMBUDSMEN CONTACT INFORMATION MEAGAN SNYDER: EMAIL: PROUDSULLIVANSWIFE@GMAIL.COM PHONE: (904) 403-0048 SARAH WESTER: EMAIL: SULLIVANSOMBUDSMAN@GMAIL.COM PHONE: (904) 955-7864 WEBSITE: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SULLIVANS.OMBUDSMAN CARELINE (RECORDED MESSAGE): Toll Free: 1-888-799-8081 THE SHIP’S ADDRESS IS: USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68) FPO AA 34093-1287 HELPFUL SHIP, BASE AND LOCAL COMMUNITY CONTACTSUSS THE SULLIVANS QUARTERDECK:(904) 270-7981 AMERICAN RED CROSS: (877) 272-7337 (toll-free)CENTRAL MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS: When calling the Red Cross, please provide(904) 542-4677 as much of the following information about the service member as is known:NS Mayport Medical Clinic:(904) 270-4303  Full name  Rank/ratingFleet and Family Support Center:  Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air(904) 270-6600 Force, Marines, Coast Guard)  Social Security Account number orBase Chapel: date of birth(904) 270-5212  Military address  Information about the deployed unitITT Office: and home base unit (for deployed(904) 270-5145 service members only)Outdoor Recreation: USO (United Services Organization):(904) 270-5221 http://www.uso.orgYouth Center: Mayport USO(904) 270-5680 2560 Mayport Road Atlantic Beach, FL 32233Child Development Center: Phone: 904-246-3481Off-base-(904) 270-7740 NAS Jacksonville USONavy Marine Corps Relief Society Building 1050 (on NAS Jax)(NMCRS): Jacksonville, FL 32212-0108(904) 270-5418 Phone: 904-778-2821Pass and ID (Main Gate/decals):(904) 270-5585Base Security: (904) 270-5583 10

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