bark of the boxer: november 2013
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DESCRIPTIONUSS Boxer's (LHD 4) November 2013 newsletter.
- 1. 13A newspaper for Sailors and Marines of Boxer and 13th MEUNovember 27, 2013Boxers Medical adds Psych Program to Team Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jennifer GoldUSS Boxers medical department is literally a floating hospital, capable of handling most surgeries. The clinic has a radiology department with three X-ray technicians. It also has a blood bank, pharmacy, two laboratories, and more than 300 beds to hold patients. Within the medical facility is a dental clinic staffed with a dentist, a certified dental hygienist, specialized Hospital Corpsmen and operating rooms. Boxers medical staff has the physical aspect of patient care covered from top to bottom and thanks toPhoto by MCC(SW/AW) Steve Zurellthe arrival of a two-man psychiatric team the mental health care of Sailors and Marines is also covered. Lt. George Loeffler, a staff psychiatrist and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF/SW) Jake Skinner, a behavior health technician arrived aboard the amphibious assault ship two months ago adding a valuable resource to help Sailors and Marines during deployment.We are here to support the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and help support the larger Operational Stress Control picture for the entire ARG /MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] across three ships, said Loeffler, from New York City. Our role is with the mental health aspect, improving performance, resilience, coping skills, and decreasing acute crises and medical evacuations. Mental health ultimately enhances fighting-force preservation. They didnt waste any time getting settled either. Immediately they set up classes and started seeing patients. Helping Sailors and Marines is their main goal. I think I have the best job in the world, said Loeffler. I get to work with people on a real human level. Everyone suffers and I get to help them refocus on their strengths. One of the classes offered is Sleep, Anger, Stress and Relaxation (SASR), a skill based program held daily in medical. Its a group forum, where the door is always open to any Sailor or Marine who wants to attend, whether they have seen the doctor or not. Continued on pg. 2 Sailor of the weekWhos-Who on the Boxer Deckplates, pg. 3Also in this issue,13th MEU Warrior, pg. 4-5 Oil Kings, pg. 6-7365 Program Shines Future Brass, pg. 9 A Lesson on Giving Back, pg. 10Congrats to Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) Fireman Apprentice Anthony Zver, USS Boxers Sailor of the Week! Representing Assault Craft Unit Five, Zver hails from Spokane, Wash. 1
2. I give them relaxation and meditation techniques, said Skinner from Moore, Okla. I also try to help them put humor into everyday situations. Skinner, whose long term career goal is to be a detective, says his job lets him read his patients body language to get an understanding of their behavior and better help them. It allows me to talk to my Marines who have PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder], relationship or family problems and be able to put the puzzle together on the outside and give them the tools to fill it in on the inside, said Skinner. Skinner, who has been in the Navy for more than eight years, says his biggest drive for wanting to help people comes from past experiences. I have had a couple of friends who committed suicide when they got back from deployment, said Skinner. Id always say come talk to me, but what I said and what the chaplain said wasnt enough. My drive is to never let that happen again. Loeffler and Skinner both teach the SASR class, which also gives service members coping skills to help them handle the kinds of challenges they might face during deployment. Ive been really impressed with how adventurous the Sailors and Marines attending SASR are, said Loeffler. Loeffler recently introduced self-hypnosis during his SASR classes as a new stress control technique. He explains it as a combination of diaphragmatic breathing, tactical visualization and meditation or in other words a mellow, trance-like state. When I mentioned self-hypnosis I wasnt sure how they would react, he said. But, other than a few comments like, will you make me cluck like a chicken they really threw themselves into it. Loeffler says that he gets to see patients growand succeed but, he also learns from them too. I think Sailors and Marines really enjoy the classes, he said. I know I do. I usually leave laughing. These classes are definitely the highlights of my day. Another class he offers is called Resilience and Performance Optimization (RPO). Its an interactive workshop for individual shipboard departments or divisions based on a program from the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control. The class is approximately six to eight hours in length and can be divided into several smaller classes. Perhaps the biggest lesson is that stress is not the same thing as illness, said Loeffler. People can be stressed out, and it can make you feel terrible physically and mentally. But that doesnt mean youre sick; it means you need to work on dealing with stress. When you realize this it can be quite liberating. The mental health teams goal is to teach these lessons to Sailors and Marines aboard to help them recognize stress in their lives and learn how to better handle it. I see a lot of progress in the patients that we have seen, said Skinner. They are improving their coping skills and starting to identify their stressors and weaknesses as well as their strengths. Boxers Senior Medical Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Jason Palmer, said service members aboard have many tools available to them to strengthen their stress management skills and improve their performance while at sea. The addition of the psychiatric mental health team has made a significant impact on quality of care and health management aboard Boxer, added Palmer. Boxer is leading the way for implementation of enhanced mental health facilities.2 3. Photo by MC2 Kenan OConnorPhoto by MCSN Veronica MamminaPhoto by MCSN Veronica MamminaChief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike D. Stevens visit Boxer.28 November 2013 ThursdayThanksgiving Dinner Steamship Round w/ Au Jus Spiral Ham w/ Raisin Sauce Roasted Tom Turkey w/ Cranberry Sauce Savory Bread Dressing Mashed Potatoes Candied Sweet Potatoes Clam Chowder Green Bean Casserole Corn on the Cob Crab Salad Hot Rolls Assorted Pies & Cakes Assorted Fruits Boxer Salad Bar 3 4. 13th MEU Warrior Lives to Protect Others Story and photos by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) Veronica MamminaOn any given night in any city in America, police are likely to arrest suspects and bring them back to the police station. The next thing they know, the suspects are standing in front of a booking agent, or booker, in a sheriffs department ready to sign up for a one-night stay in jail. The booker is a blonde haired, blue-eyed, athletic female who greets them and shows sympathy and kindness as they enter the building. She politely asks them questions upon their arrival and conducts searches for any contraband. She continues to remain professional and use her calmness as a tool to have the suspect keep composure and cooperate. The booker goes by the name of Catherine Cat Everard, currently a Marine embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), and what most people dont know is that shes an advocate of many forms of martial arts, selfdefense and helping others any way she can. It all started when I was just a kid. I used to get picked on, said Everard. Since then, I wanted to learn how to defend myself. Everard said she was put in a situation where she was forced to defend herself. One day, when she was a young girl, she got into fight and tried to escape it by going home. Her father denied her entry to the house because he wanted her to find a way to defend herself and solve her own problems. As a teenager, athletics played a significant part of her high school career as she played a number of sports including basketball, wrestling, volleyball, swimming and track and field. Everards drive to succeed granted her an opportunity to graduate a year early from high school. She then attended Metropolitan State University later that year in Denver where she continued to work out and practice martial arts more often. Everard trained in many martial arts styles such as Muay Thai, traditional Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other forms of jiu-jitsu. After college, I met the Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter, Fabio Costa and ended up attending some of his seminars in his gym in Atlanta where I practiced more jiu-jitsu with him,explained Everard. I learned a lot of awesome stuff. With Costas support, Everard ultimately started her own jiu-jitsu class targeting womens self-defense in her hometown, Grand Junction, Colo. using some of her newly learned skills. To me, women are normally perceived as passive. But, times have changed and it would break my heart if someone I knew was taken advantage of and I didnt help them, said Everard. I try to affect as many people as I possibly can in a positive way. Everard worked for a number of security companies, a sheriffs department, as an executive protective specialist and a personal fitness trainer. Needless to say, she has worn many hats in her 27 years of life all with one commonality: to protect and serve others. Today she wears the utility cover and serves as a corporal in the Marine Corps attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). All of my previous job assignments were security-based and aimed at protecting others. I love to protect people, said Everard. And joining the military was always something I wanted to do. Everard said humanitarian missions that she saw Marines participating in appealed to her most. A few years ago, I remember watching TV and seeing 4 5. Marines directly helping all of the suffering people of Haiti during the disaster, said Everard. I thought it would be amazing to be a p