Reintegration retreat brings couples together

by Airman 1st Class Alexandria Mosness
Ramstein Public Affairs

When most people get married, they think only about wedded bliss and not about the numerous deployments and remote tours that add stress to relationships.
One program on base helps reacquaint spouses to help resolve some of these exact issues through reintegration retreats. The Ramstein Airman & Family Readiness Center held a two-day retreat Feb. 20 and 21 at the See Hotel in Kaiserslautern.

The reintegration retreat is a forum that gives couples the opportunity to learn valuable skills to assist them in structuring, enhancing and spicing up their relationship, especially when a spouse is deploying or has returned from a deployment.

“Don’t wait until you are tasked with a deployment to work on your relationship,” said Daniel Hutson, A&FRC community readiness technician. “A strong relationship is continuously nurtured throughout the year. I would encourage couples to work extra hard on building a strong healthy relationship before they leave and work even harder to sustain that relationship while deployed.”

All active-duty military members and their spouses are eligible for the program, which is held twice a year.
“We hope couples would come away from the retreat with a better understanding of the human behavior process and how it relates to their personal situations,” Mr. Hutson said.

With a plethora of activities, including lectures, partner exercises and a whole lot of talking, the reintegration retreat was a success on highlighting communication skills.
“It was nice to get to know the other couples and find out they often have the same kinds of problems in their relationships,” said Sonja King, 435th Mission Support Squadron secretary. “We now have a better understanding of the differences between men and women, as well as the difference in personalities. We learned good communication and conflict resolution skills.”

Many of the couples found out something about their spouse they did not know before the retreat.

“We took so many good things away from the retreat,” said Master Sgt. Scott Jenrette, 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron maintenance support section chief. “One helpful area was recognizing that as a couple we have different personalities and are not going to see things the same way. We communicate better if we understand and respect the different perspectives we have on things.”
While the retreat taught new techniques to better a marriage, it also reminded the couples of why they got married.

“The weekend reminded me how I love my wife and how important our marriage is to me,” Sergeant Jenrette said, who was deployed to Afghanistan last year. “We can always do more to improve our relationship.”
Although the retreat was all about the couples, those who participated had nothing but gratitude for those who organized the event.

“My wife and I both want to thank the staff of the Airman and Family Readiness Center,” Sergeant Jenrette said. “They did a great job of hosting this event. These folks do great things on a daily basis to help Ramstein Airmen and their families.”
The retreat is just one of many programs the A&FRC runs that supports married and single servicemembers.

For more information or for assistance, call the A&FRC at 480-5100.