CAMP ZAMA, Japan – U.S. Army Garrison Japan launched a new premarital seminar in January to help Soldiers who are planning to get married in Japan better navigate what can be a confusing process.
The garrison’s Army Community Service team created the “Before the I Do’s” seminar to meet a need in the community, said family advocacy program specialist Jennifer Luera.
Luera said this is the first seminar of its kind at Camp Zama designed to help Soldiers getting married in Japan learn about the process from start to finish to ease some of their stress as they begin their journey.
During the initial daylong session on Jan. 26, garrison subject matter experts briefed participants on issues including legal, finance, Tricare, housing and spousal employment.
“Having a one-stop shop here and having all those directorates in one session really helps them navigate the process,” said Luera. “My hope is that they got the information that they needed from every directorate to make the process easier.”
Spc. Tristen Higgerson, assigned to U.S. Army Medical Department Activities – Japan, said he attended the seminar because he is planning to get married, was a little confused about the process and had many questions.
Higgerson said the seminar answered most the questions he had as each representative walked through the process and explained each step.
“I had no idea how the process worked until today,” said Higgerson. “It was very helpful and gave me lots of good advice. I absolutely recommend this seminar for Soldiers who plan on getting married.”
Sgt. Ashley Vasquez, also assigned to MEDDAC-J, said she attended the seminar with Higgerson to make sure he had the right resources he needed and to know what she needed to do to better assist him as his supervisor.
Vasquez said Higgerson asked very good questions during the seminar and received a lot of good information.
“I definitely think the seminar was beneficial,” said Vasquez. “It was a good place to start and talk about a marriage.”
The seminar is scheduled for the fourth Friday of each month at ACS and is intended for both Soldiers who are planning to get married in Japan and their prospective spouses. The next seminar will be held Feb. 23
To register or more for information, contact Luera by calling (DSN) 263-3638 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.