Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kennishah J. Maddux
USS NIMITZ, Pacific Ocean – As the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) starts its journey toward homeport in Bremerton, Washington, the crew members aboard the ship are starting their transition home. Most are anxious to get back to the lives they left ashore. For some the transition back can be a trying one. Representatives from the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) embarked Nimitz to hold return and reunion classes Nov. 13 through Nov. 22 to help Sailors and Marines ease back into their lives in port.
Classes provide training on post deployment driving safety, suicide awareness and prevention, alcohol awareness, interpersonal and relationship health, financial well-being, how to avoid stressful interactions, and successful reintegration.
“These classes provide the tools Sailors and Marines need to effectively return home after deployment,” said Rusty Staub, a representative from FFSC and retired U.S. Navy master chief, from Campbell, California.
“The classes aren’t just for new Sailors, Marines and junior enlisted,” said Staub.
Staub encourages everyone including senior service members and those whom have deployed previously to at least attend some classes.
“These classes are for everyone regardless of their rank or experience level,” said Stuab. “I think there are a lot of reminders and points that we bring up in these classes that people might forget about while they are out here and it’s helpful to discuss these things before they get home.”
Return and reunion classes are held multiple times each day and are broadcast on the internal shipboard television network for those not able to make it at the provided times.
“I think it’s great they’re out here providing us these classes,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Mckayla Minson, from Kyiv, Ukraine. “The one about reuniting with your spouse definitely gave me some points to consider and some things to discuss with my husband when I get home.”
Though most of the classes are optional, there are several that are required to attend prior to the ship returning home.
“It can be difficult to come back after being gone for so long and pick up where you left off,” said Staub. “It’s our goal to provide practical advice on how to handle potentially stressful situations and give Sailors and Marines the resources to continue to get help if needed once they are back on land.”
The FFCS also offers a variety of classes at Naval Station Bremerton crew members can attend upon their return.
“The resources are there for everyone to take advantage of,” said Staub. “From my experience the individuals who take advantage of the help offered are the most successful and productive after returning home.”
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.