U.S. Army Chaplain, Army South Command Chaplain Col. Lawrence Dabeck, speaks at an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars.
U.S. Army Chaplain, Army South Command Chaplain Col. Lawrence Dabeck, speaks at an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars. (Photo Credit: Pfc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - U.S. Army South hosted a Strong Bonds marriage retreat for couples at a hotel located along San Antonio’s Riverwalk, Sept. 24-26.

Strong Bonds is a chaplain-based military program designed to assist commanders in supporting unit-led retreats for Service Members, their spouses and family members. At a Strong Bonds “getaway,” couples receive relationship education and skills training in a setting that inspires hope, fosters fellowship and rekindles intimacy.

The retreat, led by Army South Command Chaplain Col. Lawrence Dabeck, focused on understanding how spouses act, communicate and love.

“I think that it's true in any relationship that if the home life is good, then your work life is going to be better,” said Dabeck, who has led or co-hosted over 20 Strong Bonds events for single Soldiers, married couples and their families. “Strong Bonds gives Soldiers, spouses and their families the tools to deal with the challenges and stressors of military service.”

U.S. Army Soldiers, 1st Lt. Jose Hamilton, executive officer assigned to 56th Signal Battalion, and his wife, Staff Sgt. Villaphanh Hamilton, human resources noncommissioned officer assigned to Army South Headquarters and Service Company, exchange vows at an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars.
U.S. Army Soldiers, 1st Lt. Jose Hamilton, executive officer assigned to 56th Signal Battalion, and his wife, Staff Sgt. Villaphanh Hamilton, human resources noncommissioned officer assigned to Army South Headquarters and Service Company, exchange vows at an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars. (Photo Credit: Pfc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL

Thirty-six Soldiers and spouses participated in the three-day event to focus on their relationships, with some renewing their wedding vows on the last day.

Joaquín Matías García, U.S. Army South Headquarters and Service Company commander, and his wife were able to relax and learn how to improve their relationship.

“This weekend helped us put the dilemmas of marriage into perspective and instilled tools for us to build a stronger bond,” said Matías. “It taught me to not make insignificant situations more serious than they are.”

U.S. Army Soldiers, assigned to Army South, and their spouses laugh during an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars.
U.S. Army Soldiers, assigned to Army South, and their spouses laugh during an Army Strong Bonds retreat in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 26, 2021. The Strong Bonds program is offered by Army Chaplains with the full support of Commanding Officers with an aim to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars. (Photo Credit: Pfc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Strong Bonds program started in 1999 with an aim by Army chaplains, with the support of the commanding officer, to strengthen the relationship of married couples through a variety of different training seminars.