Strong Bonds retreats offer opportunities to build and enhance relationships

Jan. 3, 2012 | By kentuckyguard
Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs SB_Final_LogoFRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky National Guard is offering married couples and singles a series of a free weekend retreats designed to build and enhance relationships. The "Strong Bonds" programs provide an emotionally safe and secure training environment in which to address the effect of military lifestyle stressors. There are five marriage conference weekends scheduled for the coming year -- Jan. 13-15, Mar. 9-11, June 1-3, July 27-29, and August 17-19. Two single Soldier conference weekends are also offered -- June 8-10 and Aug. 24-26. "Strong Bonds is a key program for commanders because it strengthens the readiness of the Soldier and therefore the readiness of the unit," said Draper.  "It teaches communications skills that make for more resilient and long lasting relationships." Draper emphasized the skills that the program promotes, saying they can help make for a better marriage and a better Guard member. "It is the only program we have in the guard that is for both married couples and single service members that teaches communications skills, relationship building and sustainment, reduction of stress and dealing with deployment and reintegration," he said. Married couples who have not attended one of these trainings previously may select the one that best fit their schedule via "Since 2005 we've had more than 300 couples come to our marriage conference weekends and judging from the after action reviews they've been a resounding success," said Draper.  "We hope with the return of troops from theater of war that more troops take advantage of this great opportunity." Draper emphasized that the program is open to all service members regardless of deployment history.  He added that the Guard pays for everything. "All the troops have to pay for is gas money," he said. Click here for more on the Strong Bonds program. Click here to find out how to register for upcoming Strong Bonds events.

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