3HBCT chaplains sponsor marriage retreat, prepare families for deployment
September 24, 2009
<b> FORT BENNING, Ga. </b> - Chaplains assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment and the Brigade Special Troops Battalion sponsored a marriage retreat in Panama City Beach, Fla., for 72, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Soldiers and their spouses, Sept. 12-14.
The 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division is set to deploy to Iraq next month and the retreat was meant to help Soldiers and their spouses with that transition.
"We wanted to provide enhanced marriage enrichment classes in a relaxed environment before we deployed," said Spc. Jim Bullock, the chaplain assistant assigned to 3/1 Cav. Regt. "The event was a great way for the couples to slow down and enjoy each other's company."
The classes were part of the Coin and Covenant series sponsored by the 3rd ID. As part of the program, couples agree to study a monthly theme, such as dedication, appreciation and communication, simultaneously while the brigade is deployed. Deployed chaplains will conduct event focusing on these themes overseas. Spouses will be led in the same area of study back at Fort Benning by the 3rd HBCT's rear detachment chaplain.
"There are difficulties that a deployment places on a marriage," said Chap. (Capt.) Ray Davidson, 3/1 Cav. Regt. "I'm glad we had that many couples come, and I look forward to working with them during the upcoming deployment."
Davidson says that any successful marriage requires work and dedication.
"Nobody has a perfect marriage," he said. "I believe everyone has room for improvement in their relationship. Improving communication between husbands and wives is an important part of that. One of the things we went over this weekend was reminding our couples that many times it isn't what we say, but how we say it."
Bullock was pleased with the retreat and hopes that the participating couples will have some positive things to carry them through the upcoming deployment.
"All the feedback I received said that our couples really enjoyed how interactive the exercises were," he said. "Hopefully, that interaction will continue up until we deploy and while we are away."