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"The ombudsman is a tremendous force multiplier and a critical member of my command team. My ombudsman keeps the command grounded, and ensures that despite dynamic patrol schedules and high-tempo operations we never forget our commitment to the Coast Guard Family. My ombudsman has immeasurably contributed to the outstanding command climate we enjoy aboard EDISTO."
LT Philip Baxa
USCGC EDISTO (WPB 1313)
San Diego, CA
"I first wanted to start off and say how thankful I am for the Ombudsman Program. I've been wanting to write you for some time now to let you know how blessed I was to have such a wonderful Ombudsman during my fiancée's deployment and his brothers. My fiancée is part of the PSU 309 unit who was deployed to Cuba and his brother is part of the PSU 309 that was deployed to Kuwait. We had a wonderful Ombudsman. I did not know her at the beginning of this deployment. I met her at a Yellow Ribbon program, which I am also grateful for. However, throughout this deployment, which was my first, the ombudsman did a phenomenal job with being there any time I needed her. She kept us informed and communicated flawlessly throughout the deployment and after the deployment. It is the above and the beyond that made me write this letter to you. She not only was there during the deployment but also afterwards. She still has been communicating and informing us about birth announcements, prayers for families dealing with loss of loved one and any other updates. From this communication and commitment she made me feel like I was part of a real family, the Coast Guard family. I've been able to make many close friends during this time; I had people to talk to in time of need, people to cry with and most important people to laugh with. I had so many concerns with this being my first deployment experience and I was full of questions. Questions on what to do when I was feeling low, questions on how the Yellow Ribbon worked questions when I hadn't heard from my loved ones in awhile. If there were ever conflicts the PSU 309 handled them wonderfully. I had problems working out bills with TRICARE and she pointed me in the correct direction to have my questions answered. I could go on and on of how the ombudsman helped me and is still helping me with this deployment. I will forever be grateful to her and grateful that you chose her to be our Ombudsman! I hope if I have to go through another deployment again she will be my Ombudsman again! She did phenomenal with her job for both PSU 309 units and I wanted to bring that to your attention."
"Mrs. Casey Vanhuysen was extremely instrumental in providing support to families of Sector NY but here support also reached the MSST, CCG Bainbridge Island, CCG Sailfish, Ant Bayonne, Station New York, Station Sandy Hook and several other units. She used very innovative methods to help get support for the impacted families. One such example was using Facebook to reach out and let people know what kind of support was needed for the impacted families. This method was so effective there were two vacant housing units full of relief supplies. So many supplies flowed in we actually had to ask folks to stop sending stuff. When all these supplies came in Mrs. Vanhuysen organized a group of volunteers to categorize the supplies and inventory them so impacted families knew what was available and could quickly get exactly what they needed.
Additionally she worked very closely with the deployed Personnel Support Team (PST) and the Spouses Association packing loads of donated goods for the affected members and delivered them to forward locations so families at Sandy Hook could get supplies without coming all the way to Staten Island.
Mrs. Vanhuysen was also the go to person to know the status of each impacted family. She continually worked with the Ombudsmen from other units to make sure they were getting the support they needed and that no issues were falling through the cracks. If support was needed she made sure it was provided by whatever means necessary.
Through everything she kept a very friendly and supportive attitude."
R. Shane Hooker
Command Master Chief
Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS)
“[Our ombudsman] was a critical part of our command team through a particularly dynamic period including over 350 deployed days and the first-of-its-kind decommissioning, cross-deck and homeport change. She established herself as the primary conduit of command information to the unit’s families and friends and organized valuable initiatives that educated others on available support services. Her value to the morale of our crewmembers was immeasurable and she routinely found ways to make them feel loved and appreciated. [Her] contributions to the family readiness of our more than 200 dependents allowed our shipmates to focus on their responsibilities while deployed with the reassurance that their families at home were in her great hands. In my 22-year Coast Guard career, I have never met a person more dedicated to our extended Coast Guard family and instrumental in a unit’s readiness, effectiveness and resiliency."
CAPT Matthew Gimple
(Former) Commanding Officer
"As a unit that deploys members throughout the US and across the globe at a moment's notice, our ombudsman is critical to this command's success. She ensures the members and their families feel comfortable with the command and its expectations and keeps the command well informed regarding the morale, health and welfare of command families. She a terrific representative of the command and it is a great honor to have her as a part of our team."
Signed - Deployable Unit Executive Officer