Groton-based Ombudsmen Recognized for their Service
MYSTIC, Conn. (NNS) -- Groton-area military leadership gathered to recognize and thank ombudsmen for their service and sacrifice during the annual Ombudsman Appreciation Dinner at the Mystic Aquarium, Oct. 10.
The annual event was held to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Navy Family Ombudsman Program. Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group 2 served as the guest speaker and thanked the ombudsmen for their continued support for submariners and their families.
"I would personally like to extend my thanks for what you do day-in and day-out for the submarine force," said Breckenridge, who added that ombudsmen have the type of courage to step up to do what has to be done. "We wouldn't have the level of readiness to forward deploy to protect our nation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without your support."
Beth Darius, ombudsman coordinator, Fleet and Family Support Center coordinated the annual appreciation dinner by highlighting the outstanding work, dedication and integral support the ombudsmen provide to Naval Submarine Base New London, the submarine force and the U.S. Navy.
"The work you do is invaluable and greatly appreciated. Your dedication to excellence and your command families is celebrated tonight," said Darius.
Darius added that the ombudsmen support and guidance allows families to meet any challenges.
"We cannot direct the Wind, but we can adjust the Sails," said Darius quoting a popular saying she has displayed in her office. This saying reminds her of the difference ombudsmen make every day, day in and day out.
The ombudsmen recognized during the dinner included: Lisa Ory, Naval Branch Health Clinic, Groton; Lauren Palin, Naval Submarine Library and Museum/Historic Ship Nautilus; Beth Holmes, Naval Submarine Support Command New London; Melanie Thompson, Naval Submarine Support Facility New London; Bennie Lee, Naval Submarine Support Facility New London; Michelle Laettner, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair; Jen Micheli, Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12; Melissa Coers, USS Annapolis (SSN 760); Darcy Blanchette, USS California (SSN 781); Jill Henry, USS Dallas (SSN 700); Carolyn Bannon, USS Dallas (SSN 700); Laura Burrows, USS Hartford (SSN 768); Kelly Zierenberg, USS Hartford (SSN 768); Connie Frank, USS Mississippi (SSN 782); Despina Harris, USS Missouri (SSN 780); Cheryl Gaydos, USS Missouri (SSN 780); Kathleen White, USS Missouri (SSN 780); Trish Harris, USS New Hampshire (SSN 778); Marlaina Malone, USS New Mexico (SSN 779); Pati Sexton, PCU North Dakota (SSN 784); Lauren Bomar, USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720); Christine Boling, USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720); Dorothy McCann, USS San Juan (SSN 751); Stephanie Ward, USS San Juan (SSN 751); Traci Schulte, USS Springfield (SSN 761); Portia Frank, USS Virginia (SSN 774).
Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt introduced the program to the Navy Sept. 14, 1970.