USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sailors observed Domestic Violence Prevention Month by attending seminars Oct. 16-19 sponsored by the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) of San Diego.
Seminars were offered while the ship was conducting carrier qualifications off the coast of Southern California. The goal of the special seminars was to teach Sailors how to deal with anger and stress management that contribute to domestic violence.
Jeff Erkenbeck, a clinical supervisor at the FFSC, Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., provided training to the Ronald Reagan crew.
"The Ronald Reagan leadership recognized that October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month and thought it would be an opportune time to come out and give this type of important training to Sailors while the ship was underway," said Erkenbeck.
Erkenbeck, who has helped military members cope with domestic violence for more than four years, gave a total of eight one-hour training sessions the four days he was aboard Ronald Reagan. His presentation included a domestic violence real-life scenario training video, followed by a question and answer session.
With spouses gone for months at a time on a constant basis, Erkenbeck said there is always an opportunity for Navy families to experience stress that could lead to unforeseen domestic violence.
"We all have a window of opportunity to react," said Erkenbeck. "Sometimes in life that window is small, but it is always open."
One Ronald Reagan chief petty officer said this kind of training gives him the chance to reach out to Sailors who don't know how to get help.
"Being a chief petty officer gives you an opportunity to provide help to Sailors who don't know where to get resources for things like domestic violence," said Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW/SS) Andrew Belanger, Ronald Reagan's family advocacy program representative. "This job [command family advocacy representative] is one of those jobs where you can really make an impact on the Sailors who need help."
One Sailor who attended the training said he learned a lot, including how his parents can influence his behavior regarding domestic violence.
"I learned how domestic violence is hereditary and how you can absorb your parents' behavior and think it is acceptable," said Airman Greg Forester. "I think the class showed me how to treat other people better."
Commissioned in 2003, Ronald Reagan is the Navy's newest Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.