March 26th marks Ombudsmen appreciation day – a day to honor the service of our dedicated Coast Guard ombudsmen. From the largest unit to the smallest, Coast Guard ombudsmen strive to make life easier for Coast Guard members and their families. The below letter is a personal letter written from Coast Guard Ombudsman-at-Large Fran DeNinno-Zukunft to all Coast Guard ombudsmen in recognition of their service.
Written by Fran DeNinno-Zukunft
Happy Ombudsman Appreciation Day! I want to thank each of you for your commitment to helping our Coast Guard members and their families and for being the bridge between the command and the families. You do this with enthusiasm and perseverance despite the obstacles you may encounter along the way. Thank you for your valuable time that you freely give despite the many commitments in your lives. You help to make Coast Guard life just a bit easier for all.
This is the 30th year of the ombudsman program. The program has come a long way since then. I know that you have spent many hours in training and continue to learn through the community of practice meetings and through each other. Thank you for your dedication.
You also support each other through the difficult situations that occur, and you help others find answers to the difficult questions that arise. I know that you mentor each other too. Thank you for your support.
This letter cannot fully express the gratitude that I feel. Please know that I support you. I will continue to work towards making this program the best that it can be. Even though there may be times when people forget to show their gratitude, know that I appreciate you!
Thank you for your service to the Coast Guard, to our members, to the families and to the United States of America. God bless you all!
U.S. Coast Guard Ombudsman at Large
Check out the entire Ombudsman appreciation ceremony, where the Ombudsman of the Year was honored by the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zukunft and Ombudsman-at-Large Fran DeNinno-Zukunft.