Pre-Deployment Seminar Prepares Truman Families for Sea

Story Number: NNS090729-23Release Date: 7/29/2009 5:03:00 PM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Danna Morris, Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Married Sailors stationed aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) attended a pre-deployment seminar July 23 at First Baptist Church in Norfolk.

The seminar included several presenters whose mission was to ensure Truman Sailors and their families are prepared for the ship's upcoming deployment.

Truman Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Allen R. Walker began by stressing the importance of maintaining balance between the mission and those back home while deployed.

"If you love your spouse," said Walker, "Please pay particular attention to what is going on today. Make sure your spouse has the information they need to take care of business while you are underway."

Brad Sargent, a financial specialist from United Services Automobile Association, presented valuable information on financial management and gave every Sailor a deployment kit to store important papers. Sailors should make sure their family is aware of their financial activity and has access to available funds, said Sargent.

One of Truman's ombudsman explained how the ombudsmen team can reach a Sailor if the need arises. Truman ombudsmen act as a point of contact or advocate for family members and provide access to the chain of command.

Another important resource for families of Truman Sailors is the Family Readiness Group (FRG), which raises money to support events such as bowling nights and holiday parties for the families.

Melissa Arnold, president of the FRG, spoke to families about the events available to them.

"This last year, some of the things we did were a fall festival, a breakfast with Santa and an Easter egg hunt at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens," said Arnold. "All of these activities are free of charge for our Sailors and our families."

Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Frank H. Joyner and his wife of two years, Kenyetta, attended the brief.

"Just knowing that you can't get evicted from your apartment while deployed was good to know," said Kenyetta. "All the financial information and free stuff they talked about was great."

Volunteers from First Baptist Church kicked off the evening by serving a meal to Truman Sailors and their families before the seminar. In exchange for the church members' hospitality, Sailors brought canned goods and non-perishable food items for a food drive coordinated by the church.

The pre-deployment seminar showed Truman Sailors and their families the importance of preparing for deployment.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit

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