U.S. Soldiers participate in Strong Bonds Program
May 25, 2011
SEOUL - Over a dozen Soldiers enjoyed three free nights at a four-star hotel which included all-you-can-eat breakfast bars, a steak bar, a seafood bar, a swimming pool and exercise room as part of Strong Bonds for singles, the commander’s chaplain-lead program May 12 - 14 here.
According to U.S. Army officials, the Strong Bonds Single Soldier program is designed to help Soldiers establish relationship goals and gain essential skills to help them make a good choice prior to picking a partner for life.
This is an opportunity to provide Soldiers a place away from their work to concentrate on their relationships, said Chaplain Capt. Hwa Chung who facilitated the Strong Bonds retreat.
The Soldiers in attendance reported to class in casual attire at 9:30 a.m. where they were given a workbook titled “How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerkette)" with a corresponding video.
The classes also included different projects Soldiers worked on together, periodic breaks, plenty of free time and a field trip.
The field trip was a bright, sunny, breezy cruise on the Han River near Yoido Island.
All of the Soldiers, both junior enlisted and noncommissioned officer seemed to find Strong Bonds fun and informative.
“I like it. It was different,” said Pfc. Brittany Sojourner from Eighth Army's Special Troops Battalion-Korea. “I think it was informative.”
Pvt. Torres Quintana of TANG Security Force, who has been with his girlfriend for four years stated, “I really did find the experience here really enjoyable.”
“I learned a lot about how to build a healthy relationship through this program,” he added.
Pfc. James Johnson, also form TANGO Security Force, said, “I did find one or two things I was doing wrong. I intend to remedy them as soon as possible.”
Pfc. Davinder Kullar of 19th Adjutant General expressed his approval of the rooms at the four-star Dragon Hill Lodge on Yongsan Garrison.
“I really liked the rooms,” he said. “They were better than the barracks."
Chung said Strong Bonds for married Soldiers, single Soldiers and Soldiers who are geographically separated from their spouses is conducted every quarter with free meals, child care, materials and lodging.
In addition to relevant teaching and skills training, Strong Bonds weekends include time for relaxation, recreation, fellowship and fun, said U.S. Army officials.