By 2nd Lt. David Fennoy (Fort Carson)October 13, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, attended "Pacesetter Together Shoulder to Shoulder: No Soldier Stands Alone" training at the Special Events Center Sept. 30.
The program, based off existing unit trends and stressors, is designed to train and inform Soldiers on available assets. The program also improves their knowledge about various stressors, which include Family, work, social and financial stressors. This is the third iteration of the Pacesetter Together Shoulder to Shoulder Program for the 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg. Last year's training, while deployed to Iraq, highlighted topics such as dealing with separation from Family during deployments and reintegration into the Family life after deployments.
During this quarter's training event, Soldiers split into groups of eight led by a small group facilitator in order to address solutions for possible situations the Soldiers may encounter.
"Sometimes just talking to someone when you're feeling overwhelmed helps relieve some of the stress," said Sgt. Antonio Drake, a group leader assigned to Company G, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg.
"All military services have a variety of programs focused on strengthening and ... enriching Family bonds among couples," said Maj. Monica Bland, a Department of Defense spokesperson. "We believe these programs are instrumental in mitigating the stresses deployment places on (Families)."
Leaders continue to stress how critical it is that Soldiers seek help and support when they need it. These same senior leaders have said that post-traumatic stress is an unseen, but treatable, wound of war. They noted even the "little" things add up and increased demands can make everyday life stressors pile up and seem unmanageable. Keeping and staying mentally fit is just as important and requires just as much work as staying physically fit, and the Army Family is continuing to expand on and strengthen resources designed to help Soldiers do just that.
More and more Soldiers have come forward to talk with their friends, Family, battle buddies, chaplains, mental health specialists and other trusted resources about their problems. Leaders stressed coming forward is a sign of strength and courage, and everyone is standing "shoulder to shoulder" to get this message across.