Upcoming marriage enrichment weekend has a lot to offer Kentucky Guard couples

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Adjutant General Tonini and his wife, Carol, greet attendees at a recent marriage enrichment weekend for Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen. (File photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Since September 11, 2001 more than 14,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of the global war on terror.  Hundreds of troops have been overseas multiple times, some with as many as five and six deployments under their belts.  Thousands now wear combat patches, Air Service Medals and Purple Heart Medals.

That kind of pressure can take its toll on a service member in uniform.  It can also do a lot of damage to their personal life, especially their marriage.

In response to this crisis the Kentucky National Guard has sponsored a series of marriage enrichment conferences designed to address many of the issues that military couples face when dealing with the deployment cycle.  The next conference is scheduled for the weekend of July 29-31 at the Embassy Suites Lexington located on 1801 Newtown Pike, Lexington, Ky.

“These conferences are for all of our Kentucky Guard members, army and air,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Bill Draper, State Support Chaplain for the Kentucky National Guard.  “Everyone who wears the uniform encounters stress at one time or another.  The problem is when this stress affects their family.  These weekends are a great way to address the issues they face.”

Couples attending the marriage conferences are given an informal and relaxing learning environment.  Troops are put on orders and all expenses are approved and funded by the Army and Air Guard chiefs of chaplains.

According to Draper the program has a proven success record.

“This is part of the Army’s campaign to build strong and ready National Guard families,” said Draper.  “It’s a commander’s tool designed to help their military couples build resiliency in the face of deployments.”

The training has a lot to offer, Draper added.

“They can learn and polish their skill sets toward building and reinforcing good relationships.  It’s not just about being a better Soldier or Airman, officer or NCO.  It’s about being a better husband, a better wife, even being a better parent.”

To sign up for the marriage retreat weekend contact your full-time unit administrator.  You can also contact Ms. Kim Coyle, 502-607-1177, email kim.coyle@us.army.mil or call the state chaplain’s office at 502-607-1729.

Related article:

     Stars & Stripes (International) – Mental health survey shows marital problems on the rise

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