Nimitz Five Star Report - January 2012
Monthly newsletter for Nimitz families.
The Nimitz Five Star Report Volume 1, January 2012 INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1–2 From the Captain’s Cabin; Chaplain’s Corner 3 4 Your Ombudsman Team; Useful Information 5–6 7–8 About the Family Readiness Group (FRG); NASA Space Camp Scholarship; Funding for Continuing Education “What’s Up?”; Contact Information; Mailing Address; “Get The Word Out”; Remember OPSEC; VITA is Looking for Volunteers; Plan Ahead; Valentine’s Dance ASYMCA Children’s Essay and Art Contest “Nimitz was a leader who conquered any personal urge to drive, and achieved his ends more by persuasion and inspiration to men under his command.” Edwin Palmer Hoyt in How They Won the War in the Pacific : Nimitz and His Admirals From the Captain’s Cabin A Message from the CO Captain Paul Monger Commanding Officer, USS Nimitz Happy New Year families and friends! It is a great pleasure to say hello to so many of our supporters as we begin what will prove to be a busy and eventful year for Nimitz and her Sailors. First off I want to say that I hope this new year finds you all in good health with a bright future ahead. Nimitz finished the year in great style wrapping up a good deal of the Capt. Paul Monger Commanding Officer Continued on page 2 1 Chaplain’s Corner Continued from page 1 work that needed to be done to get this historic ship back to sea. We are not quite finished, but your Sailors have made significant progress and we are on track to finish this maintenance period on our latest timeline. With that goes a whole host of inspections, exams and assessment visits from all the agencies tasked with determining if Nimitz is progressing to finish on time. So far your Sailors have performed exceptionally well across the board. Each day they grow more competent, capable and proficient at performing the jobs we will need them to accomplish at sea. We had over 30 Sailors from Air Department return from deployment with the USS George H. W. Bush where they earned over 230 individual qualifications. Fortunately they were able to return home for the holidays and some much deserved leave. This year holds several changes and challenges for Nimitz as we will execute a homeport change to Everett following our departure from Bremerton. This is always a difficult task but our Admin Department and Homeport Change Coordinators have put in a tremendous effort to make sure our Sailors and their families have all the information they need to make this transition smoothly. If any unanswered questions remain, please visit our Homeport Change link on our website to get the latest information and to ask questions if needed. Our Family Readiness Group and Ombudsmen have made the trip to Everett to check out their facilities and support structure so if you have any questions please feel free to contact them and ask. Once we arrive in Everett we will have a short time to get settled in before we start the workup process and prepare for Nimitz’ next historic deployment. Operational security concerns prevent me from listing the underway dates in this forum but we have put these anticipated dates out to your Sailors and hopefully they have shared them with you. Please understand that they are not firm yet and we may experience some changes to the schedule as the pieces start to fall into place. Please be patient and we will advise your Sailors of any changes as we get the information. Lastly, thank you for the support you give to your Sailors. It is inspiring to watch them hone their skills and gain the necessary experience and proficiency to once again go to sea. Your support clearly makes a difference. Thank you, CDR Brent Johnson, CHC, USN Is My Lens Scratched? CDR Brent Johnson, CHC, USN My eyes work all right, but I have needed glasses since I was in Junior High in order to read things far away. At one time I wore glasses that had a tint put on them so that the glare outside wouldn’t bother me, but in reality I got them because I was fifteen and thought they made me look cool (they didn’t and I just had a hard time seeing indoors.) Glasses are physical symbols of the way we look at the world around us. We ask and answer the basic question, “Is the world a safe place”, and that colors how we view all that goes on around us. Recently I began thinking about Autism and what God has to say and how God relates to people who are autistic. Autistic people have a way of looking at the world, and many people in the world have a way of looking at them. I became curious because several of my friends have children who have been diagnosed with syndromes on the Autism scale including ADHD, Asperger’s, and just plain old autism. Many of them are spiritual people but there does not seem to be much spoken about from the perspective of churches and theology in relation to the condition. When we Chaplains on NIMITZ look at people we start with three basic assumptions about them. First, God loves them. Second, each person has unique strengths. Third, God wants to do something special in each person’s life. I don’t think that changes with anyone who is an Autist or Aspy (someone with Asperger’s syndrome.) That is my starting point in meditating on what God has to say to Autistic people. I know there are members of the crew who have autistic kids, or may have symptoms of one of the spectrum of “intellectual disabilities” as they are labeled these days. When I did a little web surfing I noticed most of the web sites are for parents of autistic children. There is very little content that addresses actual autistic people and their spiritual needs. What I did find was profound. Autistic kids and young adults have a lot to say about their unique ways of looking at the world. They seem to be asking, “Is my lens scratched?” One young Aspy wrote, “Many times I feel like I’m not good enough for Christ’s forgiveness! My head tells me it’s not true. I’m trying to get my heart to understand.” That is deep spirituality. Another contributor on the same web site wrote, “Logic can only go so far. God can do the rest.” Autistic people have profound spiritual lives but we often do not know how to notice them. Frederica Matthewes-Green, an Orthodox Christian theologian, has a grandson who is autistic. She says “Autists have a bad case of the Human Condition.” They are no different than the rest of us, only they are more sensitive to reality than other people. For parents CAPT Paul O. Monger Commanding Officer USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) 2 Your Nimitz Ombudsman Team Is My Lens Scratched? With the ship’s schedule this year being anything Continued from Page 2 of autistic kids there can often be anger at God for dealing them such a difficult lot in life. One of my good friends has really struggled raising a severely autistic child. She has begun seeing her son as a gift from God, although he is a gift that keeps rewrapping him up and staying out of sight. Parents want to love their kids and most importantly get to know them. With autistic kids that is a challenge. William Stillman, an Aspy who wrote the book Autism and the God Connection says that autistic spirituality is there and may be difficult for parents to spot. He writes, “Spiritual giftedness manifests amidst daily trials and travails of mutual learning and living.” I think the Apostle Paul really sums up this spiritual condition and the hope every parent has when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” There is the first answer to my question about God relating to autistic people. God knows them better than we do, but one day we will see without scratched lenses. The second Sunday in February has been declared Autism Sunday and is formally called The International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger Syndrome. I hope we all celebrate together that Sunday and take time to look for the presence of god in the lives of our autistic and Aspy brothers and sisters and celebrate that presence with them. but certain, your ombudsman is an important re- source to have. But who are these people and what exactly do they do? Currently, the Nimitz has a team of four ombudsmen; Jeanine Neiman, Kristin Crow, Amy Cleghon and Lindsay Baldwin. We have been appointed by the Commanding Officer and are volunteer spouses of active duty sailors of the USS Nimitz. We are part of the chain of command and have the job of sup- porting the command mission by taking care of its families so the service members can focus on their jobs. Our actions are guided by Navy Instruction (OPNAVINST 1750.1G) and a strict Code of Ethics. We are the information link between the Command and its families. A large part of our job is to disseminate official Department of the Navy and Command information up and down the chain of command. We are continually training to stay abreast of current issues affecting our families and resources we can use to help. The ombudsman team has a close relationship with Fleet and Family Support Center and other Navy and local community agencies in order to provide families with information and appropriate resource re- USEFUL INFORMATION ferrals. The referrals we provide are in an effort to empower families to resolve issues on their own NAVAL BASE KITSAP FLEET AND FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER (NBK FFSC): 1.866.854.0638 before they require command intervention. We cannot provide counseling, child care, transporta- NAVAL STATION EVERETT FLEET AND FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER: 425.304.3367 To contact us, you may call 360-340-7040 or email NAVY AND MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY (NMCRS): www.nmcrs.org tion or money, but we refer to those who can. us at email@example.com. When you contact us, you will be treated courteously and pro- NAVY LEGAL SERVICE (NLSO): www.jag.navy.mil fessionally and your call will remain confidential (unless you are reporting domestic violence, child MILITARY ONE SOURCE: www.militaryonesource.com abuse, a homicide or suicide). We do our best to AMERICAN RED CROSS -- NATIONAL: (877)272-7337 AMERICAN RED CROSS -- BREMERTON :( 360)377-3761 AMERICAN RED CROSS – EVERETT: (360) 563-2047 answer calls as they come in, but, if we are unable to answer your call and you would like a return call, SAFE RIDE TAXI - BDCC BREMERTON :( 360)782-2378 SAFE RIDE TAXI - YELLOW CAB: (206)622-6500 you must leave a voicemail. We will return your call as soon as possible. As always, it is our pleasure to serve the USS Nimitz and its families. 3 USS Nimitz Family Readiness Group (FRG) NASA SPACE CAMP SCHOLARSHIP OFFERED TO CHILDREN OF MILITARY Being an active part of your FRG is a great way to make friends, support our sailors and their families, and have Fun! The Military Child Education Coalition is now accepting applications for the Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial Space Camp Scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition including round trip transportation from the student's home base to Space Camp, meals, lodging and program materials. Student applicants must be: The FRG is all about CONNECTING - connecting with other Nimitz families and discovering that while our Sailors are ON the same boat, we are all IN the same boat! Some family members love to volunteer, others like to attend; some like to craft, others to read; some have children, others don’t or they are all grown up; some attend school, others have advance degrees; some stay at home (choose domestic pursuits), others have outside careers - although we are all different, we all have one thing in common: WE ARE THE FAMILIES OF THE USS NIMITZ! . The child of a military member on active duty or mobilized Guard or Reserve. . The child of a military member who died while on active duty or mobilized Guard or Reserve. . Enrolled in grades six through nine. Have Children? That’s what “Family” is all about! Bring them along; many times the children make “life-long” friends as well! Don’t have children? That’s great, too! Please come help encourage “grown-up” discussions for those who have been limited to conversations with the “under 5” crowd. If child attendance is discouraged during any formal event or meeting, The FRG Executive board makes the effort to locate group childcare. Applications are available online at www.militarychild.org/childstudent/space-camp-scholarship/. Deadline for submission of applications is 10 March 2012. Visit the website for more details. WANT TO KNOW MORE? To subscribe to their Monthly Newsletter please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or request to join the official Nimitz Family Readiness Group Page on Facebook: USS NIMITZ FAMILY CONNECTIONS GROUP Look for the “LADIES IN PINK” at Command activities to find out how YOU can be part of the action! Funding for Continuing Education: There are many resources available to attend a variety of education programs. January is a great time to fill out the Federal Financial Aide Form to secure federal funding for continuing education. The form can be found at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA), a component of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, is a career development and employment assistance program. MyCAA helps military spouses pursue licenses, certificates, certifications or Associate's Degrees (excluding Associate's Degrees in General Studies, Liberal Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies that do not have a concentration) necessary for gainful employment in high demand, high growth Portable Career Fields and Occupations. Link to MyCAA Fact Sheet: http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/12038/Project%20Documents/MilitaryHOMEFRONT/MyCAA/ FactSheet.pdf 4 WHAT’S UP? Looking for fun free or low-cost things to do? Then check out www.navylifepnw.com and click on either Naval Base Kitsap or Naval Station Everett in the “What’s Up?” box at the top of the screen. You’ll get a calendar of great activities on base and around town! PLEASE HELP US “GET THE Important Contact Information Naval Hospital Bremerton Tricare Regional Appointment Center: 1-800-404-4506 Hospital Information Desk: 360-475-4000 Pharmacy Refills: 360-475-4217 Primary Care Clinics: Family Medicine: 360-475-4379 Internal Medicine: 360-475-4206 Pediatrics: 360-475-4216 Link to Website or Visit NHB's Official Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/NavalH i l B /163929576969000 WORD OUT!” IF YOU KNOW A NIMITZ FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS NOT RECEIVING THE NIMITZ FIVE STAR REPORT MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS COPY WITH THEM. PLEASE REMIND THEM TO CONTACT US VIA EMAIL USSNIMITZOMBUDSMAN@YAHOO.COM USS NIMITZ MAILING ADDRESS: YOUR SAILOR’S RATE AND NAME SAILOR’S DEPT/DIVISION USS NIMITZ (CVN68) FPO AP 96620-2820 AT AND ASK TO BE ADDED TO OUR DISTRIBUTION LIST! THIS EMAIL TREE IS ALSO HOW WE IMMEDIATELY DISTRIBUTE IMPORTANT UPDATES FROM THE CO TO OUR NIMITZ FAMILIES. PLEASE REMEMBER TO INCLUDE THE SAILOR’S NAME & RATE SO WE CAN VERIFY ELIGIBILITY. Remember OPSEC!!! Operational Security is not just for face-to face conversations! It also applies to Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. OPSEC Rules for (forum, blog, chat room name): 1. Do not post exact deployment dates or redeployment dates 2. Do not reveal locations, including nearby cities. After the deployment is officially announced by Military officials, you may discuss locations that have been released, normally on the Country level. 3. Detailed information on the mission, capabilities or morale of a unit 4. Specific names or actual nicknames 5. Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example: pay information, powers of attorney, wills, etc) 6. Details concerning security procedures, response times, tactics 7. Don’t discuss equipment or lack thereof, to include training equipment 8. Don’t speculate about future operations 9. If posting pictures, don’t post anything that could be misconstrued or used for propaganda purposes. A good rule of thumb is to look at your picture without your caption or explanation and consider if it could be re-captioned to reflect poorly on our Navy. 10. Avoid the use of count-up or count-down tickers for the same reason as rule #1 11. Be very careful if posting pictures of your loved one. Avoid images that show significant landmarks near their base of operations, and black out last names and unit affiliations 12. Do not, ever, post information about casualties (coalition or enemy) before the official release of the information. 13. Do not pass on rumors (“I heard they’re coming home early”, etc) 5 VITA is looking for volunteers!!! Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a great opportunity for Sailors and spouses to learn a valuable skill (IRS certified) and help out the military community. Although we would prefer to use volunteers able to commit at least 20 hours/week, we will take volunteers who are only able to commit one day/week. VITA runs from the end of January through the end of April. Since 1994, the U.S. Navy has teamed up with the IRS to provide FREE income tax preparation and electronic filing for military service members, retirees, and dependents. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program in Navy Region Northwest annually helps thousands of people process returns. VITA is looking for volunteers for the upcoming tax preparation season. Volunteers spend 5-40 hours per week from the end of January through April preparing tax returns. No tax experience is required! Benefits of volunteering include: • 5 days of free training on how to prepare tax returns • NAS Whidbey Island: 9-13 January 2012 • NBK Bremerton & Bangor: 17-20 January 2012 • NAVSTA Everett: 23-27 January 2012 • Certification as an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Preparer • Acquiring valuable job skills which could be used to land jobs with the IRS and other employers • Diversified skill set on evals which may improve advancement chances • Letter of appreciation from the IRS • Never needing to pay anyone to do your taxes again! VITA centers will be located at: • Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor • Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton • Naval Air Station Whidbey Island • Naval Station Everett (NOSC). Avoid An Emergency! Plan Ahead! Before the ship goes out to sea, make sure you have the following things updated or renewed: • Power of Attorney • Military ID • Vehicle decals A note on POA’s: Getting Power of Attorney is a personal decision for couples to make. A specific POA can be drawn up to cover those items a spouse at home may need to take charge of while the sailor is deployed. Another option is to make sure both spouse’s names are on all billing accounts. 6 7 8