FORT STEWART, Ga. - Eight Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and their spouses attended the Strong Bonds marriage retreat, June 24-26 at St. Simon’s Island, Ga.

The three-day seminar, hosted by Chap. (Capt.) Les Walton, STB chaplain was designed to help military couples reconnect in their marriage and teach them techniques that would improve their communication skills in all aspects of their relationship.

“A lot of times in our environment, we work long hours and its tiring,” said Walton. “Sometimes we need help learning how to communicate with each other.”

Retreats like these, continued Walton, are typically held at resorts to let couples work on their relationships in a nice area with scenic views. Child care is always provided so they are given the chance to grow together without any distractions.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Sgt. Adam Alderman, food services noncommissioned officer for the 3rd STB about his and his wife Tracy’s experience at the retreat. “The area was really nice and the child care was amazing. It gave us time to ourselves and allowed us to bond.”

They came to the retreat hoping to find ways to argue less and compromise more.

“The biggest thing we learned was the communication aspect of the seminar,” said Tracy. “It helped us communicate a little better.”

Other couples agreed that communication was the key to a healthy relationship, but also came to the retreat hoping to put that spark back in their marriage.

“We have been married 21 years,” said Chief Warrant Officer Miguel Castro, who works in the transportation office at the 3rd Sustainment Bde.’s Support Operations, of his wife, Yesenia. “Now that the kids are big, we want to learn to date again.”

There were also many hands-on activities and videos discussing how couples can reconnect in all aspects of relationships and learn something new about their partners.

“I’ve done a lot of these, so I picked the activities that are most effective and things that we need to work on the most,” said Walton. “I think the program is very helpful. I always get positive reviews from it.”

Each battalion in the 3rd Sustainment Bde. holds a seminar for married couples about every three months, Walton said.

Contact your unit chaplain or Family Readiness Advocate to find out more information.
“We will definitely go to another one,” said Sgt. Alderman, “as soon as we find out when.”