A Gratifying Responsibility

Jolyam Brinkman, 8th Coast Guard District Ombudsman, with Chief Warrant Officer John Brinkman and their children posing together after Jolyam received her awards June 1, 2016 at the New Canal Lighthouse. Brinkman has served in her position as the district’s ombudsman for four years and is now passing the role as her husband and her depart from the New Orleans area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lexie Preston.
Story written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lexie Preston

The sun was shining on the friends and family gathered at the New Canal Lighthouse near the shores of Lake Pontchartrain as the words, “…just knowing that you helped someone, that was enough,” enlightened the hearts of the audience.

Jolyam Brinkman, Ombudsman, 8th Coast Guard District, was recognized for her hard work and dedication to her responsibility as the district’s ombudsman.

Brinkman was given certificates of appreciation and letters of thanks for her outstanding commitment to the Coast Guard’s service members and their families. She has served as the district’s ombudsman for four years, and is now passing the role as her husband and her depart from the New Orleans area. Jolyam Brinkman, 8th Coast Guard District Ombudsman, receiving a certificate of appreciation for her hard work and dedication to Coast Guard service members and their families July 1, 2016 at the New Canal Lighthouse. Brinkman has served in her position as the district’s ombudsman for four years and is now passing the role as her husband and her depart from the New Orleans area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lexie Preston.

Brinkman said being an ombudsman is important because families are a part of the Coast Guard, and if service members have family issues then they may not be able to focus on their job.

Being a unit’s Ombudsman can be a gratifying responsibility, as it provided Brinkman with a rewarding purpose.

“I think just being able to help people, and knowing that you made a difference was probably one of the most rewarding [things],” said Brinkman.

Jolyam Brinkman, 8th Coast Guard District Ombudsman, receiving a letter of thanks for her hard work and dedication to Coast Guard service members and their families July 1, 2016 at the New Canal Lighthouse. Brinkman has served in her position as the district’s ombudsman for four years and is now passing the role as her husband and her depart from the New Orleans area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lexie Preston.Like many jobs or roles in life, challenges come our way that must be faced and overcome to continue on. Brinkman had a few challenges as the district’s ombudsman and was able to overcome those challenges by finding opportunities for more involvement between family members and the district command.

“I think one of the most challenging things is trying to get that connection with the families,” said Brinkman. “It’s an ongoing struggle, and I think when you have more command functions where you have families coming and meeting the command and doing those types of things, you overcome those [challenges]. The more you have command involvement with the families, the better it is. Not just for the ombudsman’s, but for the families as well.”