February 2012 OMB Newsletter


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February 2012 Newsletter

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February 2012 OMB Newsletter

  1. 1. THE SULLIVANS TIMESFebruary 2012 Ombudsman Family Newsletter By Meagan Snyder and Sarah Wester INSIDE THIS ISSUE COMMAND REMARKS……….PAGE 1 OMBUDSMAN REMARKS………. PAGE 2 STAYING CONNECTED THROUGH DEPLOYMENT……….PAGE 3 COMMAND SPOUSES’ “HOW I MET MY SAILOR”……….PAGE 4 to 6 CRAFT OF THE MONTH & CEILI SCHEDULE ……….PAGE 7 USEFUL LINKS……….PAGE 8 “CAN YOU SPOT YOUR SAILOR?”………..PAGE 9 OMBUDSMEN AND BASE CONTACT INFORMATION……….PAGE 10 Command RemarksTHE SULLIVANS’ Friends and Families,Greetings from the Eastern Mediterranean! I hope this edition of the newsletter finds all of you in goodhealth and looking forward to the back end of this deployment. Since our last newsletter we have beenconducting our operational tasking and have returned to Souda Bay, Crete for a short maintenance andupkeep period. The crew worked diligently every day to perform much needed maintenance throughoutand preservation of the ship over the twelve days the ship was in port. I could not be more impressed bythe dedication and the effort the crew puts forth every day. I ask a lot of each of your family membersonboard. They rise to the occasion and work at making our ship the best ship in the Sixth Fleet. Onehighlight of our time in port was having the opportunity to host our Ombudsman Sarah Wester, who madethe trip over to update the Command Master Chief, Executive Officer and I on the status of our families athome.I am sure you are aware of the news about events in Israel and Syria. While I cannot predict what willhappen I assure all of you the crew is safe, healthy and highly trained. They are fully prepared to meet allof the President’s tasking and I could not be more honored and proud to have the opportunity to serve witheach and every one of them.Please join us in congratulating Petty Officer Snyder and his wife, Meagan, along with Petty Officer Bullenand his wife, Jana, as they welcomed new babies to their families in January. We are also excited inwelcoming our new Shipmates and their families to the team. Welcome aboard to QM1(SW) Robinson,FC2(SW) Kinter, FC3 Nordwig, ETSN North, CTR3 Larrieu, and GSMFN Ball.You are always in our hearts and minds. We wish you all a collective Happy Valentine’s Day this February.I count on your continued support for our Sailors and recognize the sacrifice you are all making at home.Meagan and Sarah have been provided updated pictures of the ship and crew for all of you. They havebeen working on some special plans for our return home. They are our liaison with you and we arefortunate to have such dedicated supporters of the crew.Commanding Officer, CDR Derick Armstrong, sends. 1
  2. 2. Ombudsman Remarks By Meagan Snyder Love Is… Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… …It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I am sure we have all read this poem at one point in our lives. Although the message seems simpleand clear cut, I think we forget to love the way we should sometimes. Life can get in the way of reallyloving each other, especially when faced with the challenges of a long deployment. My grandmother oncesaid something to me that has always stuck with me through rough patches in my own marriage, “Loveisn’t something that you just fall into, real love takes work, lots of work. It’s something you have to work atevery day.” She and my grandfather just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary so that makes her anexpert in my book. As we go into the second half of our deployment, take time to reflect on your relationships and thinkabout what kind of “work” your love might need in order to overcome the hardship of being separated.Take the time to find creative ways to show that special someone how much they mean to you thisValentine’s Day. Remember, love is patient, love is kind…love never fails. 2
  3. 3. Staying Connected throughout Deployment By Sarah WesterMaintaining an emotional link with your Sailor during deployment can be a challenge. Whether yourpreferred method of contact is email, Facebook or even care packages and snail mail, it can be difficult tothink of things to say or send.Here are a few ideas that have been useful for military families worldwide.For Email Communication: Send a question each day or week that follows a specific topic.Example: Question of the Day: Which restaurant would you like to eat at on your first day back?For Facebook: Many families use the quote or picture of the day theme. Take a quick picture in themorning of the kids are getting ready for school or of you at work. Sometimes just a glimpse of daily lifeback home can help you and your Sailor to stay connected.For Children: At times it can be especially hard for children when parent is deployed. If they are feelingdown or particularly emotional about missing Mom or Dad it can be useful for them to write about how theyare feeling; whether in an online or traditional journal to share with Mom or Dad upon return. Older childrenmay find it helpful to write a daily email to their deployed parent to help bridge the gap.For Snail Mail/Care Packages: Send a themed care package. While it is a little late for Valentine’s Day,there are still some holidays left to celebrate; namely St. Patrick’s Day. Send a green themed carepackage. All green candy, a picture of the family wearing green and don’t forget the shamrock party favors!If you send a letter separately make it one with 5 simple questions with your responses included.You can ask questions like:  If you were offered a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?  What would you do with a million dollars?Here are a few websites for care package and connection ideas. Keep in mind that some ideas may needto be tweaked a little for Navy deployments.http://marriedtothearmy.com/themed-care-package-ideas/http://www.militarysos.com/forum/during-deployment/133207-care-package-ideas.htmlhttp://www.squidoo.com/care-package-sailorhttp://carepackagefun.blogspot.com/Let’s be honest, this part of deployment can start to drain on all of us so staying positive and sharing ideascan help keep those mid-deployment blues away. If you have any additional ideas, please feel free toshare on our Facebook page. 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. 3
  4. 4. This month we are honored to present our Command Spouses’ stories of how they met their Sailors. If you would like to share your story, please send it via email to Sarah @ sullivansombudsman@gmail.com or Meagan @ proudsullivanswife@gmail.com. HOW I MET MY SAILOR: CMC BRIAN PORTER By: Carolyn Porter I grew up a “navy brat” and swore I would never date a sailor. It was Friday, March 15, 1996 and I was out with a girlfriend for the evening. I was only 20 years old at the time so we headed to Shades, an 18 and up nightclub. We were dancing and having a good time when I spotted two guys sitting at a table. My girlfriend and I approached them and started a conversation. I was interested in Brian and my girlfriend liked his friend. As we were getting to know each other I heard him say something about Navy. Maybe the music was too loud but I thought he just told me he was a SAILOR! You would have thought I’d run away but by the end of the evening we had exchanged phone numbers. On June 21, 1997 we vowed to become “one” in marriage and this year we will be celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary. Brian is the apple of our children’s eye and the axis that my world revolves. He is our everything. 4
  5. 5. “How I met my sailor” By Jill de Castro, wife of CDR Samuel de CastroWhen people ask me how my husband and I met, my version is a lot shorter than the one my husband retells. I am often criticized for not “telling the whole story”. I have tried to find a reasonable middle ground here.While home for his winter break in Buffalo, Midshipman de Castro went out to meet some friends and ran into a high school classmate named Margaret. They spoke briefly and remembered that Margaret was at Georgetown University in Washington DC, not far from where he was attending college in Annapolis, MD. I was also studying at Georgetown University and was roommates with Margaret. “Come visit me, Sam” she said, “I have a roommate that I would love to introduce you to.” Time passed, both students were busy, and they were unable to connect again.Spring break came and some of Sam’s friends from a college (in Massachusetts) were driving to Florida,headed for fun in the sun. They made a quick stop in Annapolis to pick up Sam. After two long days of driving in a cramped Winnebago that reeked of a sweaty gym locker and full of excited twenty- something year olds preparing for a spring break of fun, they arrived at their destination, Key West, Florida. The first night out, the guys headed out to a local bar named Rick’s.That same spring break, I was also travelling to Key West with some friends for the week. On the same night, my friends and I headed out to that same popular local bar, Rick’s. Sam planted himself strategically at the bar and ordered a drink. “Where did you go to school that you are wearing a WHFS-tival t-shirt?”, my friend Laura said to Sam. (WHFS is a DC radio station that puts on a big music festival at RFK stadium every summer.) “Well,” he said, “I go to small, technical school in Maryland. Why, where do you go?” She replied thatshe went to Georgetown. Sam asked the girl if she knew his friend from high school, Margaret. She saidthat she knew Margaret, but not well and mentioned that Margaret’s roommate was also with her that night and she pointed to me across the room. She offered to introduce us. This is how we met. In the middle of a crowded bar during a spring break in Key West, Florida. Sixmonths after a thought to “set us up” had fizzled. By fate or coincidence, we were in the same place at the same time. Almost 17 years to the day we met, I sit and write this. Three kids later, six moves and too manydeployments I wish to count, I will always know that fate will keep us together through the adventures. Happy Valentine’s Day! 5
  6. 6. HOW I MET MY SAILOR BY Sonja H. Armstrong, Wife of CDR Derick ArmstrongMy sailor and I met in 2002. We were both a part of our best friends’ wedding. He had been friends with the groom for several years and they both serve in the Navy. The bride and I met in college and are sorority line sisters. They introduced us during the wedding festivities. We liked each other and remained friends with periodic contact through the years. In 2006 I was traveling to Virginia for work, family and friends. Our mutualfriends were now living in Virginia. I called them to let me know that I would be traveling to Virginia andwanted to see them. At that time they told me Derick relocated there from Hawaii. My friend gave me hisnew number and said give him a call and see what he has been up to. I called him and we were able to go on a few dates while I was in town. I also introduced him to my family members living in the area. They immediately fell in love with him.The rest is history. We continued to date and fell in love quickly. We traveled to see each other as often as we could due to our demanding career schedules. We eventually got married. We later had our daughter Sydney, the sunshine in our lives. Cheers to my sailor, the love of my life! 6
  7. 7. Craft of the Month Valentines Mailbox Courtesy of Family Fun magazineMaterials  Rectangular cardboard box  Craft glue  White self-adhesive shelf paper  Craft knife  Colored paper  Scissors  Stapler  Velcro dots  Stickers, stamps, and other decorations Instructions 1. Glue the box lid closed and cover the entire box with several layers of white self-adhesive shelf paper (enough to block out any writing on the box). 2. Starting 2 inches from the top, use a craft knife to carefully cut along three sides of the box, leaving the back intact to serve as the hinge (a parents job). Cut a mail slot (also a parents job) in the front of the box. 3. Make a tab closure from a 2 1/2- by 3/4-inch strip of colored paper. Fold it in half and staple it to the center front of the cover. Attach Velcro dots to the tab and the box to keep the top shut. 4. Decorate the entire box with paper cutouts, stamps, or heart-shaped stickers. UPCOMING CEILIS & EVENTSWhat 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. 14 February 18 February 17 March SPOUSES’ NIGHT OUT HALF WAY CEILI! St. Patrick’s Day themed Ceili 7pm 2-4pm 2-4pm Location: Cantina Laredo, Location: Big Air St. Johns Town Center 13475 Atlantic Blvd # 8 Location: TBD Jacksonville 7
  8. 8. USEFUL LINKS AND INFOH&R Block at Home® Free Tax Filing ServiceMilitary OneSource is once again offering a free, electronic tax filing service. If you are eligibleunder the Military OneSource program, you can complete, save, and file your 2011 federal and upto three state returns online free with the H&R Block At Home® tool.To access this free version of H&R Block At Home®, you must start your return from the MilitaryOneSource H&R Block At Home® link. Once you click the link you will be required to log in toMilitary OneSource. From the login page you will be directed to a site containing additionalinformation on tax preparation, including the link to the Military OneSource free H&R Block AtHome® service.If you have questions about this tax service or about preparing your own tax returns, please call 1-800-342-9647 and ask to speak with a Military OneSource tax consultant. Trained tax consultantsare available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., EST. For information about deductions,exemptions, and filing deadlines visit the Military OneSource Tax Program page.Special alert: H&R Block does not send urgent or time sensitive text messages or emails asking clients to provide, updateor confirm sensitive data. These text messages are scams and are not information requests from H&R Block. Moreinformation is available on the Military OneSource Tax Program page.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 Kids Connect: This is a brand new website sponsored by the Department of Defense for military kids to share experiences and advice with one another through a parent facilitated forum. https://www.militarykidsconnect.org/  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 8
  9. 9. LS2 Gavitt reenlists aboard USS The Sullivans[Photo provided by USS The Sullivans] Newly promoted LT Ricker poses for a quick picture with LT Burnett [Photo provided by USS The Sullivans]Three of USS The Sullivans newest Surface WarriorsFrom Left to Right: FC2(SW) Ryan Grate, STG2(SW)Jeffrey Hammerman and CTM2(SW) TaneshaThompson[ 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: AMERICAN RED CROSS:(904) 270-7981 (877) 272-7337 (toll-free) When calling the Red Cross, please provideCENTRAL MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS: as much of the following information about(904) 542-4677 the service member as is known:NS Mayport Medical Clinic:  Full name(904) 270-4303  Rank/rating  Branch of service (Army, Navy, AirFleet and Family Support Center: Force, Marines, Coast Guard)(904) 270-6600  Social Security Account number or date of birthBase Chapel:  Military address(904) 270-5212  Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployedITT Office: service members only)(904) 270-5145 USO (United Services Organization):Outdoor Recreation: http://www.uso.org(904) 270-5221 Mayport USOYouth Center: 2560 Mayport Road(904) 270-5680 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 Phone: 904-246-3481Child Development Center:Off-base-(904) 270-7740 NAS Jacksonville USO Building 1050 (on NAS Jax)Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Jacksonville, FL 32212-0108(NMCRS): Phone: 904-778-2821(904) 270-5418Pass and ID (Main Gate/decals):(904) 270-5585Base Security: (904) 270-5583 10