By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack

Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) participated in “Return and Reunion” classes April 14-20 in preparation for their return home from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Civilian instructors from the Fleet and Family Service Support Center taught numerous classes designed to help Sailors handle the challenges associated with transitioning from life at sea to life at home.

“These classes give Sailors the tools they need in preparation for coming home,” said Cmdr. Yolanda Gillen, Stennis’ command chaplain who taught the “Coping with Grief” class. “It gives Sailors something to think about before going home. If it’s help with finances, buying a car, coming home to a spouse or even being a single Sailor, we have classes for all of these things.”

The classes, including “Single Sailors Homecoming,” “Car Buying,” and “Stress in Relationships,” present Sailors with different information and perspectives in an effort to prepare them for any situation that they may encounter when they return home.

“The classes help Sailors in a variety of ways,” said Renee Arcement, from Fleet and Family Support Center, Naval Base Kitsap. “It can help Sailors realize and recognize certain things they may have not thought about before. We can potentially give you situations to think about that never crossed your mind. For example, being cautious with finances and taking time with purchases. You may not need that car with all of the bells and whistles when the other car will be just fine.”

“The return and reunion classes were really helpful,” said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Stephen Travis, from Kapolei, Hawaii. “Plus it gave me a new perspective on how to communicate with my loved ones when I get back home.”

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) consisting of Stennis, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 is returning to the U.S. after an eight-month deployment conducting operations in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

For more information on the JCSCSG visit or


Commanding Officer Capt. Ronald Reis talks to sailors during an all hands call in a hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak/ Released)