WELCHES, ORE--51st Signal Battalion (Expeditionary), 35th Signal Brigade, based in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosted Strong Bonds training from October 27, 2012 to October 29, 2012 at the Resort at the Mountain, Ore., for approximately 40 Families to strengthen resilience and coping skills.

The goal of the Strong Bonds Program is to equip Families with the skills to improve their relationships and to obtain symmetry with family and their military career.

Chaplain (Capt.) Hyuntae Kim, assisted by Pfc. Ludlow and Spc. Davis of the battalion unit ministry team, led the event. Spc. Davis kicked off the event with an icebreaker, which allowed the couples to become comfortable with the environment as they transitioned into the training. The focus of the training centered on increasing communication skills in order to develop stronger relationships through the discussion of the differences between men and women. The video "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage," reinforced the differences and introduced tools or approaches to communicating better with your partner. The responses to the video were very positive.

"The most helpful portion of the training was the video and discussion time," a participant said.

Chaplain Kim augmented the training by providing advice, additional skills and spiritual guidance for making a better marriage and family life. Families were given time to discuss and share their knowledge and experiences to include coping skills, and solutions they used to solve problems.

This discussion time complimented the instruction allowing families to share their own, real life experiences as stated by one family member, "The talk time we had with groups was helpful in helping me appreciate my relationship more."

After the training, families took advantage of family time on Sunday afternoon to work together using the new tools or skills learned over the previous two days.

"Everything was very helpful. All of the training was right on. I would really like to apply the advice in our daily lives," said one participant.

The resort, located in the Western Highlands of Mt. Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon allowed families time together to enjoy the sites, relaxing, shopping, or taking advantage of the onsite spa, golf course, or available hiking and mountain climbing. The lodge provided a breadth of choices and balanced the instruction perfectly. Child Care provided by Kids on Site proved invaluable for approximately 50 children, allowing couples to focus on the training and spend one on one time together if they desired.

"The child care offered throughout the retreat absolutely supported me and my spouse to reconnect," one participant said.