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Commentary Search

Training for Life Together

  • Published
  • By Capt. Benjamin McEntire
  • 169th Fighter Wing
If there's one thing we do in the military, it's training! We train to deploy. We train to work stateside. We train to help hurting wingmen. We even train on how to train! The good part is, based on our performance overseas and in past inspections, our training consistently pays off.

Military training is designed to make us perform in extraordinary circumstances of extreme stress. Military training works because we're given the skills we need to succeed and conditioned to work together as a team in a high-stress environment. Therefore, the greater the stress, the more military members fall back on their teammates. Strangely, few in the military are able to apply that principle to the most important team to succeed in life...their family.

Relationships are such an integral part of life that it can be truly said, "If you're alive, you're in relationship." Yet every single one of us struggles with how to resolve differences and live in mutually beneficial ways. Why? I believe it's because we haven't been trained in how to deal with them, and that is usually because our parents struggled with those themselves. To compensate for our lack of training, or perhaps to overcome a bad example set by our family or friends, we have to look elsewhere.

The military has figured out that healthy families are the backbone of a strong fighting force, and that strong families begin when we pick the right person to marry. Strong Bonds is the program used by the Air National Guard to help us build better relationships. Whether it's helping a single Airman pick a good spouse or find out if their significant other is a good match, or strengthening the commitment of married Airman, or helping an Airman and their family come closer together...there's a Strong Bonds program that's right for your situation.

Below are the dates for upcoming Strong Bonds Retreats. For more information or to register for an event, please contact Terry DeLille at 803-647-8089 or email her at:

Singles Retreat on August 23-25 in Myrtle Beach
Family Retreat on August 23-25 in Myrtle Beach
Couples Retreat on September 20-22 in Hilton Head