Hello Vinson families!
We held our first general meeting of the FRG on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at the Murphy Canyon Chapel. We were so happy to have the 94 of you who joined us! The families were able to make a Halloween Craft that will be sent to their sailor and listened to messages from the FRG, the Ombudsman team, the Captain (via email) and we had a guest speaker from FOCUS on military families.
FROM the FRG
We have a few fundraisers coming up! Please plan to attend our family dining nights:
All fundraiser raise money for YOUR Halfway and Homecoming Parties! Make sure you invite friends and neighbors to the dining nights. Flyers for the events must be printed out and brought to the restaurant for your orders to count (those are found at the links). ANYONE can purchase a RED shirt, so encourage any friends or family members who admire your shirt to also order one!
- Thankful For Pillowcase Craft Day – October 19 from 2p-4p – Bring a pillowcase and craft supplies to Admiral Robinson Bowling Center’s Bingo Hall! We’re decorating them with what your family or your sailor is thankful for and the FRG will be sending them to the ship to reach your sailor by Thanksgiving!
- HOWL-O-WEEN Dog Parent Meetup – October 25 from 4p-6p – You and your favorite pet are invited to a Halloween party! Have fido come in costume and they might win a prize!
- November Potluck – November 8 from 11a-1p – Bring a dish to share (and tupperware to bring leftovers home!) and join your fellow Vinson families at a potluck! San Diego Spine and Rehab will be there giving FREE chair massages too!
We need volunteers to help plan, decorate and execute our Halfway and Night-Before-Homecoming parties! These are large scale parties that ALL Vinson FRG and Strike Group families are welcome to! They help celebrate the big milestones of the Deployment. If you are interested in being a part of these committees, please fill out our volunteer interest form!
FROM your OMBUDSMEN
The USS Carl Vinson Ombudsman addressed our FRG at the meeting to remind us of a few things. They can be reached by phone, email or Facebook Message. Phone calls will be returned within 24 hours, emails will be answered within 48 hours and Instant Messages will be answered as soon as possible. Our Ombudsman are also Vinson spouses and your privacy and safety are their primary concern. They do not answer phone calls in the middle of a crowded commissary, for example, because they do not wish for others to hear what might be a very confidential conversation.
The October Ombudsman Newsletter went out just recently. If you are not signed up to receive their newsletter, please visit their website and follow the directions to be added to the list. If you are on the list already but haven’t received one, please check your SPAM folder. Many accounts are labeling it as SPAM because of the sheer number of newsletter emails being sent out.
The Command Careline:
The Ombudsman reminded our families that voicemails that are left when the Command Careline is called will not be answered. The Careline is another way that the Captain and Command communicate news with Carl Vinson Families.
The Carl Vinson Ombudsman reminded us that we need to observe Operational Security and Personal Security while our sailors are deployed. The presence of many Carl Vinson facebook groups are of concern because even “secret” groups don’t stay secret when members can grab screenshots and share them in other places. Please do not share locations, port destinations, mission information or dates for port visits OR the homecoming until it’s been officially released by the command. The Careline updates are a good way to gauge what can be shared. The Ombudsman team suggested that if the urge to discuss the deployment locations and dates grabs you, then you should grab a fellow Vinson family member and have a private conversation. In this day and age of technology surveillance emails, phone calls and text messages are also considered an UNSAFE way to share information. Countdowns on facebook are also considered to be UNSAFE because it reveals the homecoming date. If you have questions about OPSEC, please contact the Ombudsman Team.
FOCUS: Resiliency Training
Those who attended the meeting benefitted from Resiliency Training, courtesy of FOCUS program for Military Families. Children ages 5 and up recieved a separate training as the adults, but both trainings focused on identifying stressors like traffic, crying children, being late etc. We also learned to identify different levels of stress, using a color thermometer from green to yellow to orange to red.
Green = calm, relaxed body, smiling
Yellow = tense, headaches
Orange = anxious, butterflies, sweating,
Red = angry, depressed, crying and yelling
Knowing what can move your stress level up the thermometer can help you avoid those stressors and to stay in the “green” zone as much as possible. This is especially helpful to teach children, since the colors can give them a way to tell you how they feel, even when they might not understand why they feel that way.
FOCUS offers 6 FREE sessions to military families and their sailors. They are located near major military bases around the world. For more information on FOCUS and their targeted counseling programs for military families, please visit their website at www.focusproject.org
NEXT MEETING: Potluck meeting at Mariner’s Park on November 8th from 11a-1p
-PLEASE bring a decorated pillowcase showing what you or your sailor is thankful for! Please put your sailor’s rate/rank, name and department on the pillowcase. We will be sending them to the ship in time for them to receive for Thanksgiving. For those who are NOT in the area or cannot make it to our decorating party (see upcoming events above) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on mailing your pillowcase to us.
Bring a Decorated pillowcase to our November meeting to be sent to your sailor!