NAWILIWILI — Ann Leighton said the United States Coast Guard is a small organization with less than 40,000 people.
“There’s always going to be something happening and you know someone,” Leighton said. “There are quite a few who are leaving this summer, and with that, there will be a few more coming in. Thank heaven for social media because I can keep up with them that way.”
Leighton was recognized for her 2014 Ombudsman of the Year honor Friday on the 30th anniversary of Coast Guard Ombudsman Appreciation Day.
She was joined by DC3 John Barber who received commendation for an assignment by USCG XO Mike Zubillaga.
“This is a really good organization,” Leighton said. “They are always there when someone does something above and beyond the call, and DC3 Barber’s commendation is an example of that.”
Leighton is one of the Coast Guard Ombudsmen, an elite group of professionally trained information and referral specialists who empower families to face the many challenges of military life.
“This is about family,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “I know Annie from way back. The role she provides the Coast Guard plays an important and vital role in ensuring the resiliency of each family member, and the ultimate success of our Coast Guard’s mission.”
The Coast Guard Ombudsman Program was established by Admiral James Gracey on March 26, 1986 to assist commands in maintaining the morale, health, and well-being of Coast Guard families.
“We love Auntie Annie,” said Seth Carter, USCG Nawiliwili commander. “She serves us cake and ice cream on each of our birthdays. Today, we serve her cake and ice cream.”