TEMPLE, Texas – Due to military training, temporary duty
assignments and deployments, married soldiers and their spouses can
often spend more time apart than together, testing even the
strongest of marriages.
To help soldiers from the Ironhorse
Brigade's 1st “Dragon” Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment and
the 115th “Muleskinner” Brigade Support Battalion reconnect with
their spouses after months of extensive training exercises, soldiers
and their spouses attended a marriage retreat on Dec. 6, 2013 in
Roxana Galo (left), wife of Spc. Hector Galo (right), a wheeled
vehicle mechanic assigned to Forward Support Company F of the 1st
“Dragon” Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st “Ironhorse”
Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, plays a motorcycle
simulator driving game with their son, Miguel, during the marriage
retreat in Temple, Texas on December 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Bailey
Kramer, 1st BCT Public Affairs, 1st Cavalry Division)
Capt. Kevin McCarty, the chaplain for the 2nd “Lancer”
Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the Ironhorse Brigade,
addressed the unique challenges the Army presents to married
“(Ironhorse) couples have been separated by
the field, and their soldiers are about to leave for the
National Training Center,” McCarty said.
and croissants, he talked to the couples about the
importance of trust, communication, love and commitment.
McCarty selected an English-speaking spouse from the
group and began a conversation with her — in Spanish. He
later used this to demonstrate some of the difficulties of
“If you don't talk to someone in a
way they can understand, you might as well be talking in a
different language,” McCarty explained.
drawing game to express the importance of effective
communication, McCarty instructed spouses from each couple
to attempt to draw a picture based on their significant
When finished, McCarty asked if
the couples felt the exercise was difficult or easy. The
majority found the exercise to be difficult.
(drawing game) was probably my favorite part of the event,”
said Cpl. Cody Lance, a cannon crew member assigned to
Battery A of the Dragon Battalion. “We came hoping to learn
how to better communicate, and I believe the (retreat)
helped accomplish that.”
Natasha Lance, Cody's wife
of more than three years, said she also enjoyed the
communication test and believes it will be easier to
communicate with each other in the future.
young couples don't know what right looks like when it comes
to a relationship,” said McCarty. “Then they are expected to
make it last.”
The drawing game wasn't the only event
the couples participated in during the lesson.
McCarty tested the couples' knowledge of one another by
separating the men from the women. He then handed each group
a blank piece of paper and told each group to list 10 items
they think their husbands want most.
Assuming what is
important to others is different from what they think is
important to them, McCarty said, explaining the purpose
behind the game.
“I hope (the couples) leave here
knowing how to reconcile both the little and big hurts that
come up in their marriage,” McCarty said.
said the event helped her realize problems aren't always
Cody's fault; it takes both husband and wife to understand
how to communicate and work with each other to make their
Following the lessons, the
group was allowed to enjoy bowling, laser tag and arcade
“We can never have too many marriage training
events,” McCarty said. “A healthier marriage makes a
healthier Army: healthy lasts.”
By U.S. Army Sgt. Bailey Kramer
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