USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- ~ "What do you mean, we don't have enough money? We have to move out?"
~ "Look, I'm sorry. I don't want to fight and I know it must be hard for you. Let me try to figure it out."
Have you ever had this conversation or maybe you heard it from somebody talking on the Sailor phone next to you? Maybe it was about a family member being sick or maybe there's a money problem.
It happens and it's difficult. It is much harder to handle stressful situations like these while on deployment. It can be overwhelming but just when you think there's nowhere to turn, help is never far away.
"I realize now how challenging military lifestyle is," said Elizabeth Moss, deployed resiliency counselor from Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), "I have a lot of respect for those who are in the military because doing the kind of work you all do, it's not easy."
Moss provides assistance to families awaiting their loved ones return from deployment; she also embarked on amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) to assist Sailors at sea.
This marks the first time a clinical counselor embarked an operational ship for its deployment's entirety. While on board, Moss's job is to provide council; she also offers life skills classes, anger and stress management classes.
"Miss Moss is an important and valued team member during our deployment. Having her on board helps our leaders with being proactive in assisting our Sailors with dealing with the stress that being on deployment may bring," said Peleliu's Command Master Chief Tyrone Flynn.
Moss has also been assisting the Sexual Assault Prevention Response (SAPR) programs while waiting for her full certification. She will then be the ship's sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) while underway.
"I am here to provide support for people struggling with relational issues, to help those who can't adjust to a new situation," Moss said. "I am here to help with stress management and anger management. I am also here to help with very serious issues like people who are depressed or suicidal or homicidal. I work with medical department and with the chain of command to get them the help they need."
"Her being here means a lot," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Nikole Tibai, assigned to Medical Department aboard Peleliu. "She can help those who are struggling and give them tools so they will be able to deal with those stressors."
Tibai added that Moss being a clinical counselor allows any and all information to remain private and confidential. Tibai said it is very important that Sailors, Marines and their family members have a trained professional who specializes in counseling during deployment.
"I am a part of ship's company but I am here for everybody," said Moss with a smile. "People come in looking for coping skills. They are looking for a place to talk and they are looking for help."
As a new member of the crew, she would like to be more connected and wants to meet more people aboard the ship. She also enjoys talking to people and wants to hear their experiences and help them with their problems.
"I am here to listen and to tell them it will be okay," said Moss.