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USS John Paul Jones Ombudsman Web Site

Ombudsman Newsletter January 2008
Family Support Group Update
Meet your Family Support Group Board Members
Emergency Information
How to Contact your Sailor
Important Phone Numbers
News Alert! New!
Helpful Website Resources
Meet your Ombudsman & Contact information
Thank you VFW Post 1512!
Domestic Violence
Previous Newsletters
Armed Forces YMCA Calendar

January 2008                                                                           Issue 1

CO’s Corner



Happy New Year John Paul Jones Family!

      The holiday season is upon us and soon will be wrapping up. By now you all know the INSURV went well. The crew worked very hard and that work showed during the inspection. The INSURV team had nothing but good things to say about the crew, their work ethic and their desire to show their equipment. I hope you have all enjoyed the holiday leave period and are now beginning to prepare yourselves for the upcoming deployment. 

All those personal items on your deployment check off sheets need to be accomplished as time is short. Whether they be Wills, Power of Attorney’s, or just updated decals for your vehicles, it is all important and will make the deployment less stressful. 

      Between now and deployment, the ship has just a few short days underway that are critically important to our deployment. Take advantage of the inport time to prepare together. Our tentative port schedule has been passed to the crew, so they can discuss it with you. Please remember, these port visits are subject to change.

      Be proud of your sailor. They are the finest in the fleet.

Christopher K. Barnes


Commanding Officer 



CMC’s Corner



Hello JOHN PAUL JONES Family and Friends,     


I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season and enjoyed time with family and friends.

It was good to  meet a lot of you at the Pre-Deployment brief.  It's hard to believe that we

go on deployment this month but the crew is ready  and we'll be back before you know it!


Please make sure you have your Sailor's email and mailing address  before we leave.  Sailors love their mail no matter how they get it and plus  it makes deployment just a little easier.


I would like to extend a "Congratulations on a job well done" to the following Sailors who were recently for sustained superior performance:


Senior Sailor of the Year:  ET1(SW) Pahl


Junior Sailor of the Year:  BM2(SW) Torrez


Bluejacket of the Year:  BM3 Pietras 


Advanced to Petty Officer Third Class:


CTT3 Affleje                        CTT3 Salinas



Announcing new JPJ Baby:


DC2 Guzman's wife Maria gave birth to their son Sebastian on 28NOV07.



Very Respectfully,


CMDCM(SW) Karol M. Kramer



OMBUDSMAN’S CORNER                                              



 Happy New Year!                                                                                                                       


I hope that your family had a great holiday season.  As we move into the new year many people make “New Year Resolutions”.  Some want to quit a bad habit while others want to learn a new skill.  For my resolution I am making what I hope you will feel are improvements in the newsletter.


First, each month I plan on highlighting a resource for our families-if you have a specific topic you would like to know a resource for, please let me know. 


I am also beginning a “Question for the Ombudsman” section.  This is your chance to become more involved in the Ombudsman program.  If you have a question that you want an answer to and are willing to allow me to publish it (anonymously, if you wish) please send me an email at and let me know. 


I hope that you enjoy the changes and find the information useful.


January is National Thank You Month and in keeping with that spirit I want to thank the Command and all of you for allowing me to serve our JPJ families in this position.  I truly enjoy what I do and look forward to continuing to work with all of you over the course of this next year.


I hope that you have a great 2008!          



Heather Cox

Command Ombudsman

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

(619) 743-5416 OMB line

1-866-310-4650 Careline


Family Support Group News




Dear JPJ Families and Friends,


I hope everyone’s Holidays were enjoyable. Now that the Holidays are coming to a close our sailors will once again be getting underway and activities for JPJ FSG will once again be beginning. Our December meeting was productive and I would like to thank Jolene Mitchell for volunteering as our Children’s Committee Chair and continuing on as the United Through Reading contact person and chair. I would also like to thank Maggie Martin for taking over as Hospitality Chairperson. Our next meeting will be Tuesday January 8, 2008 at the Murphy Canyon Chapel, 6:30pm. As always childcare will be provided.

Hope to see you at the next meeting,


Julie Gushlaw

JPJ FSG President


United Through Reading


The families of the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) can stay connected in a very special way during our upcoming deployment- through reading aloud on DVD!  As we did last deployment we will are proudly participating in United Through Reading (UTR) throughout this deployment. Simply pack a couple of age-appropriate books for your Sailor to take on deployment, and their face and voice will be in your living room in no time. During our 2007 deployment the JPJ mailed out 172 DVD’s thru the UTR program. This is success rate we can all be proud of. This deployment will surly bring new challenges for everyone since it is so close to the last one, the hope is the UTR program can ease the challenge a little by helping the families stay connected.


 If Dad is going to be deployed for the birth of his child, or if Mom is leaving a newborn during this deployment, participation in United Through Reading is a great way to start the bonding process. Seeing your face and hearing your voice on a regular basis assures your child that you are okay and helps your child learn the rhythm of your voice.


This program can also benefit the older kids in their preteens & teens. I know they may think they are too old for this, but it can be comforting for them to see their deployed parent and hear their voice. Please contact for me details on how to make this program work for your older children, I am here to help.


 Please remember, this program isn’t just for Moms and Dads; everyone can participate.  If you have nieces, nephews, little brothers or sisters, grandchildren, or any other child in your life who you know will miss their special Sailor plan ahead by packing books to send along with your DVD.  Are there any favorite stories your child has?  Don’t forget to pack that book. Remember to consider any holidays (Valentines Day, St Patty’s Day, and Easter) or special events (birthdays, loosing the first tooth, performances and games) that you will be missing while deployed.  Celebrate with a recording of your loved one reading a storybook for that special occasion.  To learn more about United Through Reading, visit or contact me, Jolene Mitchell your home front coordinator at


 The ship has a small collection of children’s books onboard for anyone to borrow for reading purposes (not to be mailed home). If anyone would like to help expand the ship’s onboard library of children’s book by donating a book or books please feel free to contact me and we can set up a drop off arrangement.



Educational and Emotional Benefits


  Children’s self-esteem grows as they experience the security of having a parent or other caring person read aloud with them.


  Research has shown that reading to children in the early years stimulates brain growth and leads to greater success in schools.


Reading aloud explores a child’s curiosities and interests


Navy Trivia:


True or False:  At one time some rates wore their insignia on their right sleeve.


Save the Date!

January is National Thank You Month: Don’t forget to say “Thank you” more often to those around you! Try writing a thank you note or card or have a family contest to see who can say thank you (and mean it) the most to help you remember to say “Thank you” more often.


January 1, 2008: Happy New Year!!!!!!

January 8, 2008: FSG Meeting; Murphy Canyon Chapel beginning at 6:30pm

January 21, 2008: Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. Day



Ask the Ombudsman!

Question: Can you tell me what will be in this section?

Answer:  This is your chance to ask me a question and get an answer to it. Questions can be as simple as “What do you do?” or more complex questions pertaining to resources that you want more information on or “Why is such and such done this way?”  Unfortunately I won’t be able to answer every question in the newsletter but every effort will be made to answer as many questions as possible throughout the year.   I will be choosing the questions that I believe will be needed by a majority of people.  Even if your question isn’t answered in the newsletter, I will email you the answer to your question as soon as possible-and if I don’t know the answer I will give you a resource from whom you may get the answer.  To participate in this section, please email your questions to before the 20th of each month.  Questions received after the 20th of the month will be saved for possible use the following month.  Please let me know if you want to remain anonymous or if you don’t mind your name being used.  I hope you enjoy being able to increase your participation in the Ombudsman program. 


Question: Why is the ship doing back to back deployments?

Answer: The Navy has a Fleet Readiness Plan (FRP) which was adapted in 2003 in order to maintain a quick response to the world events.  The FRP calls for 6 of the 12 carriers to be able to deploy in 30 days and two more to be ready to deploy in 90 days.  The idea here is to maintain the ships’ peak level of readiness for a period of time during which they can be deployed.  The period during which the ships can be deployed is called “Surge”.  The three levels of surge are: emergency surge status, surge ready status, and routine deployable. Because we are in our surge period and due to the need for the USS Kitty Hawk to be in dry docks, the Nimitz Strike Group, of which JPJ is a member, is needed to help maintain the US’s presence in the world. 

This Resource is for You!

Fleet and Family Support Center(FFSC)-The FFSC offers a wide variety of services and programs to service members and their dependents.  Services include: clinical counseling, information and referral, the Ombudsman program, Spouse Employment Assistance, New Parents Support, Relocation Assistance, Transition Assistance, Personal Financial Management, Family Advocacy, Deployment Support and Sexual Assault Victim Intervention.   

Fleet and Family Support Centers, found on Navy or Marine Corps bases around the world, are available to you if you are eligible for services on base (e.g. you can shop at the commissary or can use a military medical facility at no cost).  For those that don’t live near a FFSC, contact your nearest FFSC to get more information on where to find resources near you. 

To find the your local FFSC or to get more information about FFSC log onto

Disclaimer:  The Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, and Navy Personnel Command do not endorse any commercial enterprise or their websites that may be found within this section.   Information on any commercial enterprise or their websites are provided because of the useful information provided on these sites at no cost to the visitor.

Navy Trivia Answer: True

Established in 1841 and disestablished 2 April 1949, originally signified men of the Seaman branch. During WW II these rates included Boatswains Mate, Turret Captain, Signalman, Gunners Mate, Fire Controlman, Quartermaster, Mineman, and Torpedomans Mate. Other ratings wore rates on the left sleeve.

Source:  Smith Sr., Daniel. "Navy Historical Facts and Trivia."  State Guard Association of the United States.  1 December 2007.     < >.       


Handling Money During a Deployment

Six tips to financial success

by Rich Strickler, USAA Deployment Assistance Program Manager

 When service members are deployed, their spouses are often left to run the household on their own, including paying the bills and balancing the checkbook.  How can you keep track of your family’s finances during this stressful time?

  • Understand your family’s finances, including your monthly budget, how much debt you owe and what funds you have for emergencies.  Taking advantage of online banking services and automatic payment plans can help ensure all bills get paid on time.
  • Ensure you’re listed as a joint account holder on your spouse’s credit card, banking and investment accounts so you’ll be authorized to make changes to the accounts, if needed, without your spouse’s signature.
  • Contact your local JAG office to create or update a durable power of attorney.  It will allow you to manage legal matters, such as refinancing your home.  At the same time, ensure your wills are up-to-date.
  • Seek out special deals and take advantage of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which affords active-duty military members exclusive benefits, such as reduced interest rates on credit cards, mortgages and auto loans.
  • Research financial institutions and the options they offer.  Some banks offer interest-free mortgage assistance loans to help military families who may experience a financial hardship during a spouse’s absence.  Some insurers offer reduced auto insurance rates for cars that will be stored.
  • Save often.  While it might not be a priority while on a stretched budget, time is your biggest asset when it comes to growing your savings.  If your credit card debt is under control, begin saving for an emergency fund in a savings or money market account.  Try to save at least three months of living expenses.  Then, start contributing to a retirement savings plan, such as a Roth IRA or the government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

With a loved one in harm’s way, it can be hard to stay focused on routine financial matters.  But keeping your money goals on track can help ensure your household is prepared for the future.

Source:   Stickler, Rich " Handling Money During a Deployment”  Military Spouse.  1 December 2007.  <>.       




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


FPO AP 96669-1271


Remember…sailors love snail mail!

     January 2008           












































Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day



















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