Your Vinson FRG Board for 2017-2018

To the Families of the USS Carl Vinson Family Readiness Group,

We are excited to announce to your new Vinson FRG Board for the 2017-2018 term!  It has been an honor and pleasure serving you for the past year and we are so grateful to have gotten to know so many Vinson families.  We are pleased to turn over our responsibilities to the new board’s capable hands.

Just in 2017 alone, the FRG planned 29 events!  This includes four book clubs, four potlucks, 6 fundraisers and one amazing Final Countdown Party.  We are excited to see the events that the new board will plan and we can’t wait to attend them!

Without further ado, meet your 2017-2018 Vinson Family Readiness Group Executive Board!





Elektra Joyner is no stranger to the Vinson FRG!  She has been attending FRG events for the last year and a half and is ready to take on the role as President.  Elektra has many professional experiences to prepare her for this leadership role, including working in customer service, human resources, and as a legal assistant.  Additionally, she has long history of volunteering, including helping out military organizations such as Operation Homefront and Compass, a Navy spouse mentoring program.  A mother of 3 teenagers, Elektra is ready to bring diversity to the FRG as well as pay forward the same warm welcome and friendly smile she first received when attending FRG events.

Lucretia Jefferson recently moved to San Diego from Las Vegas, but she is no stranger to the military as she grew up in a military family.  She saw from a young age that being around others going through the same experience as you is not only beneficial to spouses, but to children as well.  Lucretia has participated with volunteer organizations in the past, and has taken leadership courses in communication, teamwork, and personal development, which are skills that she will regularly utilize as your new VP.

Vicky Gardner feels the FRG provides an invaluable avenue for Vinson families to connect with one another and build a support system, and she is excited to contribute to the cause!  She has a Bachelors degree in Health Science with a minor in History, with a background in mission and non-profit work. Vicky also has administrative assistant experience, which relates to many duties she will be responsible for as Secretary.  She and her family recently moved to San Diego from Florida, and they are expecting their second baby this fall! Random fact: Vicky loves chai lattes, so if you are looking for a coffee date, she is your gal!

Kelly Bearden brings a unique perspective to the Vinson FRG because not only is she a Vinson spouse, she is also a 6-year Navy veteran herself.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting, and has held multiple volunteer Treasurer positions.  Kelly has been interested in supporting the FRG for some time now, so she is excited to take on this role and provide support to the Vinson family members and significant others at home.



Your 2016-2017 FRG Board

Kelley Isham, President

Christina Campo, Vice President

Brettany Buetow, Secretary

Brittany Harker, Treasurer

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Finding My Deployment Purpose

Happy Monday Everyone! I also wanted to take this opportunity to share why I joined the Vinson FRG Board. First of all, Cara Lynn Hanhurst roped me into it LOL. After last deployment, Cara Hanhurst  and Brittany Harker stepped up to take on the President and Treasurer roles, which was the only reason why the FRG stayed in tact at that time. I joined the game a little late, along with Brettany Buetow. I personally joined because I was looking for a hobby as well as something to boost my resume. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I didn’t anticipate becoming as attached to the group as I am now. Planning events may seem trivial, but when you are able to bring people together in a welcoming and supportive environment, you really do feel a purpose. I was doubtful at first in my capability of sliding in to the President position for this past term, especially knowing there was a deployment on the horizon, because I am just a spouse too! How am I supposed to be upbeat and plan events for our families on top of struggling through the regular stress that deployment brings? Well, it has given me something to channel my energy towards, turning my frustrations into something positive. I also truly have made a family from the FRG – between the board as well as all of you members that attend our events. It makes me so happy to see familiar faces coming back, as well as new faces trying out our events for the first time. It does bring a sense of purpose during the monotony of deployment. Circling back to the part about boosting my resume, this has been a great opportunity practice decision-making, public speaking, and crisis management. Everyone joins the board or comes to FRG events for their own reasons, but I feel like we all get the same thing out of it at the end – becoming a family. If you are even slightly interested in running for a board position to influence the success of the FRG in the future, please fill out an initial application:

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Conversation, Love, & a Sense of Family

Good afternoon! I’m the current Vinson FRG VP. Since Brett’s post I’ve been thinking about why I ran for the role of Vice President and want to share with anyone thinking about running. My husband and I have only been together a handful of years and this was my first ship experience. He recommended that I run for a volunteer role with the FRG to help with the deployment. I decided to start going to the events to see what the FRG was about and to talk with the current board members and get a feel of what the roles entailed. I found the events to be super chill and the people were very down to earth and kind. Over the past year I’ve been able to help with events that fed spouses and families with food, conversation, love and a sense of family. If you’re looking for a rewarding way to pass the time while your loved one is away, this might be the thing for you.

If you are a spouse interested in becoming a board member from July 2017 until July 2018, please fill out the application here:

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Learning to Be A Leader

Brettany Buetow, VinsonFRG Secretary

Hi everyone! As most of you know, I am the secretary of our FRG. I have been blessed to have this position over the past two years and I am so thankful I have had this opportunity.

When we first moved to San Diego, my husband had been in the Navy for 4 years but this was his first sea duty. I felt like a newbie to the Navy life all over again. I knew we would be experiencing a deployment just over a year after arriving and even though we were closer to family, we were still hours away. I needed to make friends and find things to fill my time. I decided to join the FRG board even though I was really hesitant and nervous about what all it would entail. Would I be able to handle it? I had a one year old and 3 year old and this new “large” responsibility… how would it all work? I knew I needed something to help commit me to the different events so I would get out of the house and meet people. If not, I would find some excuse to not go and then regret it later.
After joining, I immediately met new friends who are more like family to me now. I learned my way around San Diego and learned how to better manage this new adventure that we had started.

The idea of joining the FRG board was a lot more intimidating than it really was. Yes, there is plenty of work to be done, but it is so exciting to plan events and see people smile and enjoy themselves when their loved ones are away. It makes every moment worth it to me. I have been able to see myself grow into someone that I wasn’t sure I could be. I became a leader, a mentor, and a friend to many. I was able to break out of my shell and come to almost all of the events… something I would not have done had I not been in this position. I am so thankful to be a part of the Vinson FRG board!

If it’s something you’ve considered doing, please consider filling out the board election questionnaire and running for a board position!

Brettany Buetow

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Elections for 2017-2018 FRG Board

EXECUTIVE BOARD ELECTIONSVolunteering with your Family Readiness Group is a great way to connect to new friends and the San Diego Area. Our group hosts educational workshops and conducts social and moral building activities. Learn teamwork and leadership skills, all while giving back to your military community. Volunteering with an FRG also looks great on resumes!

Per our bylaws, it’s time for annual elections and turnover. If you are a spouse interested in becoming a board member from July 2017 until July 2018, please fill out the application here:

Please note that the deadline for submitting your application is Friday, May 19th.

Executive Board Roles and Responsibilities


  • Arranges Monthly meetings
  • Attend Monthly Meetings and regularly attend planned events
  • Secures speakers for meetings when necessary
  • Presides over all meetings for the group
  • Represents the group at all meetings and affairs when necessary
  • Keep the Appointed Command Point of Contact informed of the group’s activities
  • Call special meetings when necessary
  • Signs checks
  • Publishes a newsletter and updates the website with pertinent information
  • Maintain notebook of pertinent info to be turned over to the successor

  • Attend Monthly Meetings and regularly attend planned events
  • Assists with coordinating committees, and be committee chairperson point of contact
  • Assumes role of President in their absence
  • Acts as parliamentarian at meetings
  • Maintain notebook of pertinent info to be turned over to the successor

  • Attend Monthly Meetings and regularly attend planned events
  • Record the minutes of all meetings
  • Handles any correspondence as directed by the President
  • Maintains minutes, treasurer reports, and resignation letters in a bound folder
  • Provides president with a copy of the minutes, to be forwarded to the USS Carl Vinson Command Point of Contact
  • Has minutes ready for duplication on request by the next scheduled meetings.
  • Maintains permanent records of the group
  • Maintain notebook of pertinent info to be turned over to the successor
  • Maintains and handles all media and social media

  • Attend Monthly Meetings and regularly attend planned events
  • Keep a full and accurate account of all transactions
  • Collects donations
  • Maintains the group’s checking accounts, petty cash funds, PayPal and Square accounts
  • Signs checks
  • Presents a written report at each meeting
  • Submits a record for auditing no later than February 10th of each year
  • Maintain notebook of pertinent info to be turned over to the successor, including receipts, monthly bank statements, treasurer reports
  • Responsible for filing annual taxes
Entire Board – Other Potential Duties

  • Assist with merchandising
  • Write thank you notes to sponsors and donors
  • Assist with planning events – including venue research, activity research, gathering donations
  • Increasing membership / welcoming new members
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You can send us a donation by emailing

The USS Carl Vinson Family Readiness Group (FRG), Tax ID 46-1954397, is a volunteer based team that supports family members of sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier stationed on Coronado Island. The FRG’s role is to plan and coordinate activities to enhance family readiness and enable USS Carl Vinson sailors and their families to meet the goals and challenges of their military lifestyle changes.

Each deployment year the FRG hosts a Final Countdown Party to celebrate our sailors return to their homeport in San Diego. The date and location of our events are private for operational security purposes. The purpose is to celebrate the families staying strong throughout the deployment, as well and helping pass the final hours before finally reuniting with our sailors.  Financial support is extremely important to the FRG, as we rely on donations to fund special activities like the Night Before Party to our Vinson families throughout the year.  

We ask that you consider supporting our cause with a donation (i.e. basket with goodies, voucher for your services, or monetary support). In return for your participation, we will provide you with a receipt for tax deduction purposes and we will publicize your business on our social media accounts. 100% of donations received are used to benefit the families of the USS Carl Vinson sailors.

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Five Guys Fundraiser

We are so excited to have another restaurant fundraiser! Come join us at Five Guys in Liberty Station any time between 5:30pm and 8:30pm on Monday, March 27th.

No flyer or mention of the Vinson FRG is needed – the FRG will be receiving 20% of ALL sales during that time frame!

Thanks for always supporting your Vinson FRG, and we will see you there!

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Bod Squad Fitness Group

Join your Vinson FRG in a fitness challenge. We are coming together to help each other stay on track health wise and reach our goals!

How it works:
1. Email and request to be added.
2. You will be sent an invitation to create an account and join our group on, a free weigh loss tracking website.
3. Create your account and weigh in weekly/monthly.(Only your percentage lost will be shown to the group. Your actual weight is kept private.)
4. Complete your official start weigh in ON OR AFTER February 20
5. Participate in mini challenges, post tips and questions to help keep each other motivated.
6. See the change!!!

We will have prizes available for our top overall Losers. The site/challenge go by percentage lost.

This challenge will go from February 20 12am, to May 20th 11:59pm ( facebook only allows the date to be so far out so the end date will be changed as we go, just know it officially ends May 20th).

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Updated Facebook Group Information

mail-1917160_960_720The Vinson FRG has started a Secret Facebook group to help us better connect our members to each other and the San Diego area. Eligibility for this secret group is limited to Spouses, Partners, Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, and other extended family members of Vinson Sailors that reside in San Diego.  To be added to the group, please ask your sailor to email us at from their ship email address.  In the email, please ask them to include your email address associated with your **Facebook account**, as that is how we will add you to the group.  Our public Facebook page will remain active, but information regarding specific details about our events will transition to our group for the safety of our Family Readiness Group Members. We will continue to share event opportunities for all families that do not violate the guidelines for PERSEC on our public page and our website at
Due to the large volume of requests we’re getting, it may be a few days before you are added. Thank you for your patience.
Any questions or concerns can be sent to

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January Event : Potluck + OPSEC Speaker


Time for our first event of 2017 – a fabulous potluck!

Free street parking + playroom for children at location.

Please RSVP using the link below and you will be emailed details closer to the event.

We will be having a short OPSEC presentation beginning at 1:30pm, not to last past 2:00pm. This will be a great refresher on how to stay safe as military families.

Sign up to bring a yummy dish here:

We hope to see you there!

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