MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina – The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) chaplain’s office hosted a Strong Bonds couples' event at the Landmark Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, May 13-15. In attendance were families from ACC units at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Stewart, Georgia as well as a few from other tenant units at Fort Bragg. Chaplain (Maj.) Matthew Madison, the ACC command chaplain, trained 15 couples on how to improve their relationships utilizing Franklin Covey’s Speed of Trust for Strong Marriages curriculum. Participants learned the language of trust and how to act in ways that not only inspire trust but also deepen trust in their marriages.
Madison explained the purpose of Strong Bonds saying, “These events are really like regularly scheduled maintenance for your marriage. Just like you get your oil changed in order to keep your car running strong, couples need iterative marriage maintenance to keep strong and healthy relationships.”
This was the last Strong Bonds event for Lt. Col. William Arp and his wife as he prepares for retirement.
“These workshops have enabled us to evaluate and reaffirm our commitment to each other and to service,” Arp commented.
Sgt. 1st Class Jerian Graham, ACC’s equal opportunity (EO) advisor, is currently a geographical bachelor and physically separated from his wife Jackie, who is in the Fort Bragg area. Sgt. 1st Class Graham made the long drive to Myrtle Beach from Huntsville in order to invest in and strengthen his marriage.
Jackie Graham said, “This session has been timely for our family. We are in the process of a transition to Huntsville after being geographically separated for two years. The tools we received will help us to have conversations, not only with each other but with our kids for the upcoming move. I am looking forward to using these tools for our life.”
Following the weekend training, Madison and Staff Sgt. Bradford Alex, the ACC religious affairs non-commissioned officer, traveled to Fort Bragg to visit with the leadership and Soldiers of the 419th Contracting Support Brigade, the 900th Contracting Support Battalion/MICC-Ft. Bragg, and the 905th Contracting Support Battalion.
Alex explained, “As the only organic chaplain support in the entire ACC enterprise of over 6,000 Soldiers and civilians, these visits enable us to link up our units with their local chaplain support. We also heard from ACC Soldiers how much they appreciate seeing their chaplain and knowing we care enough about them to visit.”
In addition, Madison sees the value of personally meeting the leadership, hearing about their mission and unique challenges, and then discussing how to best serve them and their employees going forward.
“Combining the Strong Bonds event with a site visit to Ft. Bragg really enabled us to maximize our time and resources and we came away with greater knowledge and understanding for how to best provide soul care to our people there,” Madison said.
For more information on how you might be able to participate in future Strong Bonds events or to communicate with the ACC chaplain’s office, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-955-8604/8606.