NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. —
Whether a Sailor is deployed or stationed on shore duty, there is the proverbial individual behind the curtain taking care of Sailors and their families by providing them with the resources they need to help overcome any obstacle in their way.
“A Navy ombudsman is someone who is the liaison between the command and their families,” said Arianna Reid, Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) newly appointed ombudsman. “I am the point of contact for families. If they have an issue that arises, they can come to me and I will give them the resources they need to overcome that issue.”
Reid was appointed to the ombudsman position by NNSY’s Shipyard Commander, Capt. Kai Torkeleson. In August, she gave her first presentation during command indoctrination to shipyard Sailors.
“It’s a chance for me to talk to the Sailors and get contact information for their spouses so if the need arises, they know where and who to turn to,” said Reid.
Approximately five years ago, Reid’s husband Machinist Mate Nuclear First Class Matthew Reid was on deployment. Reid had a crisis occur and she needed help. She had no idea where to turn to because she was unaware of the ombudsman program.
“It is a terrible feeling of being alone,” said Reid. “I want to make sure that another Navy spouse doesn’t have to go through that feeling of helplessness and unable to contact their spouse like I did.”
If Reid would’ve known about the ombudsman program, she would’ve found out that that spouses have direct contact with the ship in the event of an emergency on the homefront.
“I first became an ombudsman when my husband was attached to USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75). This is my way of serving those who serve our country,” said Reid. “Ensuring that their families are taken care of while they focus on their mission of protecting our country.”
Being an ombudsman provides that connection where a Navy spouse can find care through compassion, empathy and a listening ear in times of need.
“As NNSY’s ombudsman, I will take ownership of the program, doing endless research and ensuring that all of my resources are up to date and valid, so that I can give the best information available to the spouses,” said Reid.
An Ombudsman gives the same attention and respect to all Sailors whether they are married or single, enlisted or an officer. Reid stated that just because a problem doesn’t seem to be a big deal to you, doesn’t mean the problem isn’t a big deal to the other person.
Reid said, “We have the people and the resources we need to make this program a success. We are here for our Sailors and I am proud to be a part of this shipyard family.”