Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Carla Ocampo
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chablis J. Torrence

As USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) prepares to get underway for deployment, Sailors will have to leave their families behind; however, families won’t be left alone.

John C. Stennis Family Readiness Group (FRG) provides family members of Stennis Sailors with information and emotional support while the ship is underway.

“The FRG is a very important part of the military family,” said Tricia Clark, president of Stennis’ FRG. “I think that it is vital to the families while the ship is deployed and it is equally important when the ship is home.”

The FRG works with families to enhance family readiness for deployment and help them adjust to lifestyle challenges.

“I know how hard a deployment can be, so I believe the FRG is wonderful for Navy families,” said Jennifer Stanton, secretary of Stennis’ FRG.

The FRG offers help through a variety of committees such as welcoming, helping hands, fundraising, and social committee.

Each committee has a specific mission such as the helping hands committee, which helps families during difficult times by organizing meals for families, help with childcare in emergency situations, and making visits to the hospital. Committees are only one of the ways the FRG reaches out to families.

“Through the group’s meetings, website and Facebook page, they have really reached out to the family members and ensured they have the opportunity to support one another, especially while the ship is away from home,” said Stennis’ Command Master Chief (AW/SW/SS) Stan Jewett.

When a family member has a question about a Sailor, they can contact the FRG. The FRG then contacts the command to get an accurate answer without violating operational security.

“The FRG handles things at their level,” said Yeoman 3rd Class (SW) Tyree Crutchfield, the command master chief’s executive assistant. “They help keep us focused on the mission.”

Knowing that the FRG is there for their families can help Sailors feel better while deployed because they know their families are taken care of. The FRG is there to assist in times of personal and unit crisis.

“Family readiness is a cornerstone of the Navy’s war fighting readiness, a strong family support structure enables Sailors to serve and excel,” said Rear Adm. Michael J. Browne, director of personnel readiness.

While providing families with information, the FRG promotes friendship and mutual support among members.

The FRG puts social events together such as holiday parties, children’s parties, and other activities so families can connect with other families in the same situation.

“It’s so important that our Sailors’ family members know where to go when they need help, and the FRG is there to provide some of that support,” said Jewett.

Families can register with the FRG to receive updates on events by emailing their Sailor’s information to jcsfrg@yahoo.com, or for more information visit jcsfrg.org.

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