SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –
Relationships need nurturing and attention and the 1st Mission Support Command (MSC) chaplains are committed to helping married couples and single Soldiers succeed within their relationships through the Strong Bonds program. Strong Bonds was help at the Intercontinental Hotel in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico January 26-28.
“It enhances relationships,” said Chaplain Maj. Evelio Rodriquez with HHC 1 st Mission Support Command. “It allows people to fully enjoy their marriages,” he added. “It teaches singles to look out for those relationship red flags in themselves and in others.”
Over the years, the Army has recognized that the military family can experience even higher levels of stress and that can diminish a soldier's performance. To that end, the Army created the Strong Bonds program.
U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Fancisco J. Albizu, assigned to the 35th Expeditionary Signal Battalion as a Computer/Detections Systems Repairer, in Yauco, Puerto Rico, attended the Strong Bonds with his wife Nereilis Candelario. The young couple has been married for a total of 55 days and decided to attend the Strong Bonds event to better their relationship as a whole.
“I'm not here because our marriage is in trouble. I wanted to come here to learn from others based on what they have learned, what tools they have used, to make a better future for us,” said Francisco. “I'm hoping the classes will teach me how to strengthen all my relationships. To make a strong foundation for our marriage,” he added.
Starting with a strong foundation will give a strong marriage, said Nereilis.
After two days of seminars and exercises, the event concludes. The participants gather their worksheets, books and notes and head out to practice what they have learned.
“I'm really glad we came,” said Francisco. “It has really reinforced the good things we are doing and has given us more tools to work with.” The Army has always been a stabilizing force in my life and this is another piece, he added.
Even though people change throughout their lives, we learned the tools to change with each other, said Nereilis.
Strong Bonds is a chaplain led program that helps Soldiers and their families build strong relationships. The program’s mission is to build Soldier readiness by providing skills the Soldier can use to strengthen his or her marriage and other relationships.
Originally, the program was just for married couples, but has been expanded to all Army members including the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard.