USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Chief petty officer-selectees assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 participated in video teleconferences (VTC) with their family members Aug. 14.
Sailors spoke with family members back in Norfolk shortly after finding out they had been selected for chief.
"We thought it would be a great opportunity for their families to congratulate them," said Chief Electronics Technician (SW) Elizabeth Barnes, Truman's VTC coordinator. "They're on a tight, busy schedule, so we thought they should be able to have some time to be congratulated by their families."
"It was wonderful. Truly a moment of bliss," said Chief select Aviation Maintenance Administrationman(AW) Aubrey L. Edwards. "It was very much what I needed right now. During this transition, having your spouse there for support is very important. To be able to see him today, knowing he was there for me, was the greatest feeling in the world."
Barnes and Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Loran Bather are coordinating a bi-weekly VTC for all interested crew members and their family members for the remainder of deployment. Barnes said each conference has been successful in boosting the morale of the participants.
"I've gotten back nothing but gratitude and appreciation," Barnes said. "It really makes a difference in morale. We're all working hard out here, and it really helps people get through the stress of their jobs."
"It definitely gave me the mindset of why we are deployed," said Edwards. "My husband got to see me and make sure I was okay, and I think we both felt a little relieved to see each others' faces."
Barnes said many crew members e-mail their loved ones on a regular basis; however, the face-to-face teleconferences allow a more effective means of communication than e-mail.
"I don't believe you can convey your feelings through an e-mail the way you can with face-to-face body language and facial expressions," said Barnes. "There is no replacement for being able to see how happy your family is. The selectees have a proud moment right now, and I'm sure every one of them would want to share it with their families, so we're going to try and give them a little piece of that."
"The family is the best system of support we have," Edwards added. "Being able to see them helps reiterate the fact that they are there for us. They are involved with our careers and our promotions, and they are the ones who helped us get to this level."
Collectively, there are 28 CPO-selectees assigned to the Truman and CVW 3.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.