Your Support Brings Love Styles to a New Audience
Remote deployments and long separations can strain marriages. The OXYGEN Seminar brings fresh air to service members stationed in Bahrain.
Deployments in geographically isolated locations bring unique challenges to marriages and families, particularly when service members are “geo bachelors” separated from their spouses for up to a year at a time. In November, Stronger Families had a special opportunity to bring the OXYGEN program to service members stationed at NSA Baharain who provide vital operational support to U.S. and Coalition Forces.
More Help on the Way
“Love Styles” was the first of three relationship workshops held for this group, who hadn’t experienced any other events like this. Many of the attendees weren’t quite sure what to expect as they learned each love style: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Said one participant, “These classes are really needed, especially in Bahrain. Being in the military and separated from your family for weeks or months at a time can be challenging. The class would be helpful in refocusing on peoples relationships and marriages.”
“Great class on learning ‘Love Styles’! Knowing what to look for created a whole new level of awareness for me. I now know I have some work to do.” – Scott T., US Army, NSA Bahrain
Your Gift of Hope for a Marriage in Crisis
Thriving relationships require consistent work. OXYGEN helps reintegrating couples improve communication, resolve conflict, and build hope for their future.
FORT WAINWRIGHT, ALASKA
Reintegrating military couples are in a state of transition, a life stage that brings excitement, uncertainty, and relationship stress. Relationship support can help to facilitate a succesful reintegration, energizing couples to help them face the challenges ahead. At November’s OXYGEN Seminar, hosted by the Gimlet Unit Ministry Team at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska, 24 reintegrating couples refreshed communication skills and renewed their hope for the future. Participants received eight hours of training in self-awareness and interpersonal communication techniques, as well as a catered lunch made possible through funding by the USO and support from Stronger Families.
Trying to Make Things Right
Couples came to the seminar with a variety of goals and challenges. One service member shared his struggle with stalled communication, conflict, and forgiveness. He greatly appreciated International Training Manager, Sean Sanberg. “I plan on working on our communication. I didn’t know the problems my wife and I have been facing. It’s been almost two years, and I have not asked my wife for forgiveness. I want to come up with a game plan to properly ask her for it. I don’t want my wife to think that I don’t care about her feelings; I cherish her and love her probably more than she knows. I truly love how Sean shared his experiences with the group. He made me feel like if he can share with people he doesn’t know, I can do that with my wife. The time to strengthen my marriage is NOW. Thank you, Sean.”
“This is great teaching! Our biggest relationship growth area is conflict resolution. I plan to use what I learned to begin to solve our issues.” – Kimberly M., Fort Wainwright, Alaska
Teaming Up to Better Support Military Families
Your support brings new communication skill-building to Army couples from Fort Bragg.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte, North Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium often hosts cheering crowds, impressive plays, and feats of athleticism. In November, the stadium was also the site of a different sort of team endeavor: a group of Army couples dedicated to building communication skills and strengthening their marriages. As part of a special outreach to military families, Stronger Families partnered with the USO North Carolina and the Carolina Panthers to bring OXYGEN to Army couples serving at Fort Bragg. The families were treated to a special lunch created by the Carolina Panther’s executive chef and an OXYGEN workshop about Breaking Barriers to Communication. Couples left with new communication tools to use at home and work as well as vital skills to improve family relationships. More importantly, they left feeling valued, supported, and honored for their service to our country.
“I learned to understand his feelings and accept what he is telling me. I will definitely use this in my daily life.“ – Donna L., Fort Bragg, NC
Raising up OXYGEN Champions to Serve Couples Overseas
Stronger Families empowers new OXYGEN leaders with four training sessions on the Pacific Rim.
USAG CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN
The OXYGEN Seminar was designed to uplift, heal, and inspire. For prospective leaders called to the Stronger Families mission, helping other couples takes the inspiration even further. Leading couples through transformational OXYGEN seminars takes dedication, skill, a heart for family, study, and preparation. Prospective OXYGEN instructors devote hours of their time learning to lead, building life-changing communication, conflict resolution, and marriage support skills before ever stepping in front of a seminar.
Leaders in Training.
This January and February, leaders-in-training took an important step toward facilitating OXYGEN events by attending training sessions at USAG Camp Zama in Japan and USAG Yongsan in South Korea. Trainees experienced transformational moments in their own relationships as they prepared to bring OXYGEN to other families. Attendees called the events “life-changing;” soon, they look forward to helping change lives themselves. Stronger Families’ National Training Manager Sean Sanberg shared, “I was so thrilled to see our trainees respond to the presentation training. Knowing how to deliver, not just what to deliver, has added value to the curriculum and to the over-all impact of the event. Hearing the stories and sharing in the lives of these men and women makes me so proud! The passion and sense of calling they feel for this mission is amazing.”