Truman Sailors Deal with Tough Issues Using Straight Talk

Story Number: NNS110926-04Release Date: 9/26/2011 5:05:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Samantha Thorpe, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducted group counseling sessions called Straight Talk aboard the ship Sept. 20.

The counseling sessions are designed to provide Sailors the opportunity to speak freely about issues they face.

Straight Talk was also created as a way to reduce alcohol-related incidents and domestic abuse cases among Truman Sailors.

Chief Yeoman (SW/AW) Cheri Raynaud, Truman's equal opportunity advisor and facilitator of Straight Talk, said the idea was a joint effort between officers and senior enlisted to help junior Sailors make positive choices.

"We decided that we needed ideas to do things differently," said Raynaud. "Our main goal is to help Sailors who are going through tough issues such as pregnancies, relationships, self-esteem issues and stress."

Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Dwanise Harris, assigned to Truman's supply department, said Straight Talk provided a comfortable open forum to discuss issues young Sailors face, especially drinking and driving.

Each year, more than 16,000 people die due to drunken driving in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These deaths are among the most preventable in the country.

"I really liked how I could tell my point of view about what may be causing these issues and how I feel we can prevent them," said Harris. "The class was very relaxed and I felt like I could say what I wanted to say and not be judged."

The sessions also inform Sailors of available resources, including the Fleet and Family Support Center and chaplain. Straight Talk also gives Sailors the opportunity to glean knowledge from Truman's chief petty officers.

"We decided to have chief petty officers lead the discussions because we have been there," said Raynaud. "The Chief's Mess has an abundance of knowledge and experience about how to overcome the stressors in your lives."

Truman is currently undergoing a Docked Planned Incremental Availability to conduct maintenance and refurbish shipboard systems. She is scheduled to return to the fleet in the summer of 2012.

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

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