Written by: LT Connie BraeschPost written by Ademide Adedokun, Public Affairs Specialist for the Commandant of the Coast Guard
This week, we are honoring the services of Mrs. Christine Greiner, Ombudsman for the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. As Ombudsman, Greiner is quite literally the key link between the crew of the 378-foot cutter and the family members left behind when the ship deploys.
Since the inception of the program in the 1980s by Ms. Wanda Allen-Yearout, wife of retired Captain Tom Yearout, Coast Guard Ombudsmen have played many roles. They help young families adapt to military life. They welcome new families to units. They are a voice for family members to unit commands. They are a source of information for family members when their loved ones are deployed. And, perhaps most importantly, unit members can be sure that when they are far from home, there is a Coast Guard Ombudsman keeping watch over their family.
“Ombudsmen volunteer their time and talents to create a community for unit family members left behind,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt praising the efforts of all Ombudsmen. “Their hard work and dedication allows members of the Coast Guard to continue to focus on mission execution while being secure in the knowledge that things are running smoothly on the home front.”
Earlier this week, Greiner was recognized as the Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year. Her selfless service to the Jarvis family included little things – like updating the contact information for crew members and their dependents. A seemingly small action paid significant dividends down the road and ensured family members were accounted for and moved to higher ground during the 2009 tsunami season.
She also dedicated countless hours helping families adjust to island life by hosting briefs and spouses meetings in her own home. When a crewmember’s father passed away, Mrs. Greiner contacted the ship immediately then facilitated his return to his grieving family. At the end of the ship’s deployment the Ohana Committee she coordinated arranged for a patrol boat to deliver an enormous, beautiful, homecoming lei to wrap around the bow of the ship.
“Enthusiastically driven to provide the best possible services to the Jarvis’ extended ohana [family], Mrs. Greiner worked unceasingly to provide exceptional coordination between families and the command. I offer a hearty mahalo [thank you].” said Jarvis commanding officer, Captain Webster Balding, when nominating Greiner for the honor.
Starting with this year, the Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year will be recognized as the Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year in honor of her 35 years of service to the Coast Guard.