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USS John Paul Jones Ombudsman Web Site

October 2007 Ombudsman Newsletter Now Online

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USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

 

 

September 2007                                                                                                    In Harms Way

 

 

Captain’s Corner

 

 Greetings to the JOHN PAUL JONES family,

 

August has been another great month for the ship. We accomplished a lot,

and if you look at your calendar, you’ll see we have now completed 75% of the deployment.  Before you know it, your Sailors will be greeting you on the pier in San Diego.  Some of you may even be lucky enough to join us in the last week for the Tiger Cruise.  The entire crew is excited for our impending return, and are busy training and preparing for the remaining deployment milestones.  Throughout the month, your Sailors have continued to build JOHN PAUL JONES’ outstanding reputation.  You can be proud of their hard work and accomplishments.

Upon Leaving Guam in late July, we headed west to re join the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group for what would be an exciting exercise with the Kitty Hawk and John C

Stennis Carrier Strike Groups.  Enroute we conducted a great deal of Unit level Training in preparation for an upcoming Assessment.  Valiant Shield 07 commenced on 07 August with Navy and Air Force participants numbering over 30,000 Naval and Air Force personnel.  This joint exercise focused on the command and control elements of a multi carrier strike group and joint operations, air defense and under sea warfare.  John Paul Jones performed in a superior manner earning many accolades for her performance as an Anti Submarine Platform. 

 

As Valiant Shield wrapped up mid-month, our focus shifted again to Unit Level Training.  We conducted drills across every warfare area; testing the crew’s ability to fight against air, surface, and subsurface threats, and to respond to damage control, engineering, and personnel casualties that might occur.  Your Sailors handled each and every scenario with true professionalism.  They are ready to meet the challenges of the Unit Level Training and Readiness Assessment – Sustainment that will occur in September, on the way home. 

 

After skirting a super typhoon in the South China Sea, the ship enjoyed back to back liberty ports in Hong Kong and Singapore, where the crew enjoyed some much-deserved liberty and participated in a number of Community Relations projects.  As always your Sailors represented the Navy and the United States well, getting out to see the sites, taste the local cuisine, do some shopping, and learn something about the local cultures. 

 

We ended up the month with preparations for an upcoming multi-Carrier Strike Group Exercise with the Indian Navy.  This will be an extremely high-profile event; the first of its kind.  I know your Sailors will continue to demonstrate the skill and professionalism that JOHN PAUL JONES is known for. 

 

As always, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  Keep the home fires burning as we finish our last few weeks.

Sincerely,

 

Christopher K. Barnes

CDR, USN

Commanding Officer

 

CMC'S Corner                            

 

Hello JOHN PAUL JONES Family and Friends,
             

August was a very busy month with exercise Valiant Shield.  As always, JPJ Sailors shined throughout the exercises.  This month also marked our last two port visits.  First it was off to Hong Kong where the weather wasn’t very nice to us but you wouldn’t know it by all the events the crew took part in.  The main attraction was Hong Kong Disneyland, while others went on the Hong Kong Tour, Kowloon and New Territories Tour, Ocean Park, Harbor Night Cruise, Shopping Tour and Macau Day Tour.   

Then it was off to Singapore for our final port visit where we said “Fair winds and following seas” to LCDR Stengel and welcomed aboard our new Executive Officer, LCDR Kochendorfer.

By the time you read this newsletter we’ll be less than a month from being home with family and friends.  We will be stopping in Hawaii to pick up Tigers for Tiger Cruise 2007.  Looking forward to seeing a lot of you on the Tiger Cruise, and if not there then on the pier when we are finally in our favorite port of San Diego!  

All are looking forward to our return home and seeing family and friends again.  I would like to personally recognize some outstanding JPJ Sailors on their recent achievements.  Good job shipmates and keep up the great work!

Chief Selection:

DCC(SEL) Gaydos         STGC(SEL) Salisbury    GMC(SEL) Cruz      

Meritorious Service Medal:

LCDR Stengel

Navy Commendation Medal:

LT  Davis                       ETCS(SW) Bogart

Navy Achievement Medal:

ENS Cheng                       SH2(SW) Balusek           ET2(SW) Bandasalinas            STG2(SW) Bizjak

STG2(SW) Poole          CS2(SW) Smith

Flag Letter of Commendation:

EN3(SW) Gibbs

Advancement:

IT3 Tierney

Good Conduct Medal:

GSM2 Cross                      GSM2(SW) Mello           ET2(SW) Stoudemire              IT2(SW) Toussaint

STG3(SW) Davis          EN3(SW) Gibbs           IC3 Ochsner

Enlisted Surface Warfare Qualification:

OS2(SW) Lopez           EN3(SW) Daniels     EN3(SW) Gibbs                   GSM2(SW) Cross   OS2(SW) Rogers          GSE3(SW) Schultz

Surface Warfare Officer Qualification:

ENS Lam

Engineering Officer of the Watch:

ENS Cheng

Very Respectfully,

CMDCM(SW) Karol M. Kramer

 

Ombudsman’s Corner 

Hello JPJ Families and Friends!

 

      Well, we are almost there!  All of the hard work, emotions, and tiredness are coming to an end and we can look forward to seeing our sailors once more.  Both you and your sailor have worked hard at a lot of things.  You have worked hard at dealing with your jobs,

communication, family, and the separation but the hard work doesn’t end there.  Now you will be working hard at making sure that everything is just perfect for your homecoming.  Something to remember is that the sailors probably won’t stress over whether or not the TV was dusted this week or when the last time you cleaned out the garage.  They are looking forward to see you.  They have missed you and want to enjoy their time with you.

 

     While Homecoming is often an exciting and happy time, it can be quite stressful and tiring.  Help is available if you need it.  Fleet and Family Support have confidential counselors available or you can contact Tricare to make arrangements for counseling.  Take your time and ease back into your routine, although we all have great expectations they don’t always come to fruition.  And if Homecoming wasn’t enough excitement for you many parents have children who are starting or have started school.

 

     I would also like to say welcome to LCDR Kochendorfer, the new Executive Officer and his family.  To LCDR Stengel and her family, we wish you the best and I have enjoyed working with you.  

    

The beginning of the school year is exciting.  New teachers, friends and adventures lie ahead for the children and parents alike.  One of the most important tools as a parent is communication, with both your child and his/her teacher(s).  Below is a list of suggestions from www.kidssource.com.   

  • Place a notebook in your child's book bag. Use this as a communication vehicle between you and your child's teacher.
  • Contact your child's teacher during the first two weeks of school to determine the homework policy, best communication methods -- let them know the best way to reach you, expectations and opportunities regarding parental involvement in classroom activities, and recommendations for learning activities at home.
  • Generate a list of questions to ask your child's teacher at the first parent/teacher conference. Include questions regarding what your child should be learning, what are his/her best subjects, what do their test scores indicate about their learning, and whether he/she is completing assignments regularly.
  • Ask your child how she thinks she is doing in school. If possible, suggest a three-way conference with you, your child and the teacher.
  • Find out how your child's school accommodates differences in learning styles; what types of programs are available if extra help is required.
  • Source: “Back to School: Communication is a Key to Success”. KidSource Online. 23 August 2007.  < http://www.kidsource.com/education/bts.communication.html>

      Once again I want to say thank you to VFW Post 1512.  They played host to the FSG by opening their hearts and pocketbooks to the FSG.  We couldn’t ask for a better Post to work with and I hope they know just how much their support means to the sailors and families of JPJ and to me. 

     Keep an eye out for more information about the Homecoming events that are coming up later this month.  Check in with the Careline and if you have any questions please feel free to email or call me.  I hope you have a good month and a great Homecoming! 

Heather Cox

Command Ombudsman

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

(619) 743-5416 OMB line

1-866-310-4650 Careline

jpjombudsman@yahoo.com

http://jpjfamilynews.tripod.com

 

FSG Corner

Hello JPJ Family and Friends,

 

Yet another month has flown by. We held our August meeting at the Murphy Canyon Chapel and the Night Before and Homecoming Committees were able to meet and get things started for these upcoming events. We are selling fabulous home-made pillows with “USS John Paul Jones” embroidered in gold thread on a blue background. The sales of these pillows will help pay for the upcoming celebrations. We also held two fundraisers at the Lemon Grove VFW Post 1512. We sold our cookbooks and had a 50/50 raffle. The Post is a great supporter of both the FSG and the ship and I would like to thank the Post Commander, JJ Voight and the other post members for their generosity. The ship has recently received the shoeboxes for the shoebox auction, so our sailors should have a great time bidding on them. The next FSG meeting will be held September 6, 2007 at the Murphy Canyon Chapel at 1830. Very important information will be given at this meeting and I encourage everyone to attend. Childcare is provided free of charge in the chapel nursery.

If you would like to order a pillow ($10 + $3 shipping) or cookbook (same pricing) or would like more information on the FSG please feel free to contact me at the email address below.

 

Thanks and have a great month!!!!

 

Julie M. Gushlaw, FSG President

Fsg_53@yahoo.com

 

United Through Reading® Update

 

They’re almost home!  As homecoming excitement builds and the program winds down, we want to extend a big thank you to the Coordinators and volunteers who have made it possible for all of us to participate in United Through Reading® during this deployment.  Having the opportunity to stay connected with our Sailors in this way has been a great experience.

 

The folks who provided this wonderful quality of life program would love to hear from you.  Please go online and fill out a Homefront Participant’s survey for United Through Reading® on the Family Literacy Foundation© website, www.read2kids.org to provide your feedback.  (The Direct Link For Those Who Email Newsletters is: http://read2kids.org/utr_homefrontsurvey.htm   )

 

Navy Trivia

 

True or False:

The US Navy authorized gray uniforms for officers and chiefs.

 Answer at the end of the newsletter.

 

Save the Dates!

 

TRICARE Coverage for College Students

How does Tricare work for college-age children?Children remain eligible for TRICARE benefits until they reach age 23 or graduate from college, whichever comes first. Some TRICARE options work better than others if your child is away at college, so make sure you review them all carefully! Choosing the best health care option depends mainly on where the school is located and the student’s transportation options at the school. For example, TRICARE Prime is only offered in designated Prime Service Areas. Military families should call their regional TRICARE contractor to find out if their child’s college is in one of these designated areas. If the school is in a Prime Service Area, but not where the family is registered, then a split enrollment under TRICARE Prime would be the best option—the student would be dis-enrolled from Prime at their home location and re-enrolled at the new location. If you wish your child to receive care at a military treatment facility (MTF) near the college, check to see if the facility is accepting new Prime enrollees before making any decision. Check with your TRICARE contractor about how to enroll the student at their college location and to transfer the enrollment back home for summer break.

A child enrolled in TRICARE Prime will be assigned a primary care manager. All appointments must be made with the primary care manager to avoid point of service fees, which could result in higher out-of-pocket costs. Because patients in TRICARE Prime need to access care through their primary care manager to avoid point of service fees, it is unwise to allow the student to stay enrolled at their home location or to choose Prime if it will be difficult for the student to get to the provider’s location.

If it is not convenient for a college student to get to an assigned primary care manager or MTF, military families may want to consider disenrolling their child from TRICARE Prime at their home location and having the student use TRICARE Standard or Extra. Again, this action would create a split enrollment: some family members in Prime and the college student in Standard. Using TRICARE Standard or Extra will give their student the flexibility to receive care from any TRICARE authorized provider; however, your child will have higher costs than in TRICARE Prime. When using a TRICARE network provider under TRICARE Extra, however, your child will have a lower cost share than using a non-network provider. Also, network doctors will file the claim for the patient. Some doctors who accept TRICARE Standard may require payment up front. A claim would then need to be filed with TRICARE for reimbursement. Your student will need to save the receipts and, if over age 18, sign the claim forms. Be aware that your student may be subject to a one-year lock-out if disenrolling from Prime—you will not be able to re-enroll them in Prime at your home location when they come home for the summer. Check with your TRICARE contractor for details before disenrolling the student from Prime.

Another avenue military families may opt to use is the student health plan offered by many colleges and universities. Be aware these plans are considered other health insurance, so TRICARE acts as the secondary payer to any student health plan. If a family decides to use the student health plan, TRICARE Standard or Extra is the best TRICARE option. For more information about TRICARE and college students and contact information for the TRICARE contractors.

Source:  " TRICARE Coverage for College Students."  Fleet and Family Support Program.  23 August 2007.     < https://www.nffsp.org/skins/nffsp/display.aspx?CategoryID=8e452d42-4817-4b54-be2c-530d9c84b865&ObjectID=099faec4-9cca-4e0d-86eb-a0dc8053a2be&Action=display_user_object&Mode=user&ModuleID=03a82259-2060-4d85-9b82-aa9762eb2a2c>.                           

USCIS Launches Citizenship Hotline: 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a toll-free help line for military service members attempting to become U.S. citizens.
The help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645), is accessible both inside the United States and overseas. It is available for service members and their families, with expedited service for service members set to deploy or for families applying posthumously.
The help line will assist callers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with the following:

 

  • Tracking their application for naturalization (Form N-400)
  • Notifying USCIS of a new mailing address or duty station
  • Checking the status of an application or petition
  • Bringing a spouse, fiancée or adopted child to the United States
  • Obtaining posthumous citizenship for a deceased member of the Armed Services
  • Submitting an application for expedited processing

In addition to the help line, USCIS has developed a web page, USCIS.gov , providing information and links to services specifically for the military and their families.
(Source: Press release, office of Senator Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD))

 

Night Before:  For the traditional Night Before Party the FSG is planning an afternoon event so that our families have a chance to finish up any last minute details and get a good night’s rest before meeting our sailors at the pier.  As more information becomes available it will be passed out and made available to you.  We hope to see you all there!

Homecoming:  Keep an eye out for more information coming soon!  A special newsletter will be going out full of Homecoming information for you to go over.  As always, check the Careline or feel free to email or call your Ombudsman to get more information as you need it.

 

Navy Trivia Answer:  True

Gray uniforms in the same style as khaki were first introduced on 16 April 1943 as an officers uniform. On 3 June 1943 the uniform was extended to include Chief Petty Officers. On 31 March 1944 cooks and stewards were permitted to wear the gray uniform. The Navy abolished use of "grays" on 15 October 1949.

Source:  Smith Sr., Daniel. "Navy Historical Facts and Trivia."  State Guard Association of the United States.  25 July 2007.     <http://www.sgaus.org/hist_fac.htm >.       

Homecoming Hints

Tips for Reunion                                  

  • Start planning early.  Who do you want to be a part of the celebration?
  • Include children in homecoming plans such as decorating and planning activities
  • Rereading letters/emails from your sailor can assist you as you begin to prepare for the reunion
  • If homecoming day is also a duty day, plan to make it as special as possible anyway.  Have dinner together and talk about your homecoming plans for the next day.

 

Homecoming Day

  • Be realistic. Perfect reunion fantasies are just that-fantasies.
  • Fatigue is common homecoming reaction for everyone after all of the preparations for the reunion.
  • Stay flexible
  • Keep planned activities to a minimum to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Take time to get to know one another again.  Intimacy is emotional as well as physical.

 

For the Loved One at Home

 

As a Couple:

  • Life at Sea is very structured.  Your spouse may want to rest for a while.  Go easy on the planned activities for a few days.
  • Negotiate family rules and responsibilities during the days after your reunion.
  • Your spouse may have stories to tell about overseas ports.  Realize that while port calls can be a highlight, they are a very small part of deployments.  Life at sea can be difficult and challenging.
  • Be open.  You have a lot of catching up to do.  Be careful not to get caught in the “Who Had It Worse” game.

 

As a Parent:

  • Plan family time.  Encourage your family to get reacquainted with one another.
  • Go slowly.  Remember, your spouse has not been around energetic children for many months.
  • Be sensitive.  The returning parent may feel like an outsider.  Encourage kids to include them in discussions, requests, and problem solving.

 

 

These tips are from the Fleet & Family Support Center

 

 

CONTACT YOUR SAILOR:

Sailors love snail mail!  Although we have the convenience of email, don’t forget to send letters and packages to your loved one at sea!  Send mail to:

 

Service Member’s Name

USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG-53)

FPO AP 96669-1271

 

Remember…sailors love snail mail!

 

September 2007

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

3

Labor

Day!

4

5

6

FSG

Meeting

6:30 pm

Murphy Canyon Chapel

7

8

9

National

Grandparents

Day

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

First Day of Autumn

24

25

26

27

28

Native

American

Day

29

30