The ‘getaway’ that brings you closer together

Story and photo by Master Sgt. Bobby J. White
7th Civil Support Command Public Affairs

Soldiers and family members of the 7th Civil Support Command met for a spiritual fitness and relationship growth seminar at Victors’ Seehotel Weingaertner Hotel in Bosen, Germany, July 16 to 18 to increase individual Soldier and family member readiness through relationship education and skills training.

Certified master coach Dr. Paulette M. Bethel, from Atlanta, Ga., facilitated the seminar through group-led round-table discussions and case studies that focused in the areas of comprehensive Soldier fitness, restoring family values, military lifestyle stressors and respecting one another’s ethics to maintain and develop strong families and couples of the 7th CSC.

Dr. Bethel devoted this weekend’s sessions to help organize and enhance individual and couples’ performance by aligning people and strategy through the context of culture. 

“I love working with families and I especially enjoy working with military families overseas because to me, this is my family,” said Dr. Bethel, sharing her wide range of experience as an entrepreneur, researcher and licensed marriage and family therapist with the attendees. “I want to be able to work with our military families to provide them with the tools, knowledge and information that will help and support their families and ultimately meet the Army’s mission.”

Dr. Bethel’s experience began while growing up in the melting pot city of New Orleans with its colorful history. Her multicultural and multiracial background, and a potpourri of cultural influences, grew as she traveled extensively while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

“I believe that these combined experiences have been the key to my enjoyment and understanding of the expatriate lifestyle and the issues that accompany overseas living and the crises of repatriation,” said Dr. Bethel in the final phase of the seminar.

During the seminar, family members were able to enjoy themselves as they participated in various exercises and the genuine fellowship among those in attendance.

“This experience was interesting to me,” said Ralf Fiedler, native of Cuxhaven, Germany, and spouse of Sgt. Kimberly Fiedler, a native of Bronx, N.Y. “I have learned how to apply resiliency in my marriage and learned how to apply the technique of ‘Time Out’ in our day-to-day family interactions.”

“I think this seminar was very informative … right moment for our relationship and will  help us significantly with our communication skills,” said Spc. Hayris Gutierrez, native of Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Brig. Gen. Jimmie Jaye Wells, the commanding general of the 7th CSC, praised the group for the overall success of the mentorship seminar and thanked all those who attended. 

“This is the foundation of our Army,” said General Wells during closing remarks. “Our Soldiers, families and civilians are the foundation of relationships and we need to continue to foster and build upon the lessons and tools we have received here at this retreat if we want this to work.”