[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                  February 22, 2008

Religious Services Office sets off-post marriage retreat for April 11-13

      Military personnel in the Fort McCoy community are eligible to attend a marriage enrichment weekend retreat in Wausau, Wis., Friday, April 11- Sunday, April 13.

      Installation Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell said the retreat is built around the Saturday (April 12) Marriage Conference presentation "A Growing Marriage" by Dr. Gary Chapman from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Chapman is the author of the "Five Love Languages," which was presented to the Fort McCoy community as part of the Army's Strong Bonds program.

      "The uninterrupted time (during the retreat) is designed to provide spouses with the tools that can help them communicate better with each other," Colwell said "These tools assist in building a stronger, healthier and more fulfilling relationship."

      Colwell said he had a positive experience when Chapman was the featured trainer for a Family Life session during chaplains' training last year. After checking Chapman's schedule on the Internet, the Wausau conference was identified as a potential training opportunity.

"The uninterrupted time (during the retreat) is designed to provide spouses with the tools that can help them communicate better with each other."

Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell,
Fort McCoy Installation Chaplain

      A limited number of tickets also will be available for those who can only attend the conference, including military and civilian personnel, Colwell said.

      Chapman provides all materials for the conference free to the military, Colwell said.

      For more information about the Chapman's conference, visit the Web site http://www.chdevelopment.org/documents/ChapmanSeminar.pdf. 

      Childcare will be available for military personnel attending the entire retreat for the first 20 children registered. Members of the installation Child and Youth Services staff will provide this service.

      Soldiers and spouses will have communication assignments on Friday and Sunday, and the opportunity to attend an optional worship service on Sunday, Colwell said.

      Funding for travel and per diem, including for military spouses and children will be provided through the U.S. Army Reserve Command and coordinated between the Fort McCoy Religious Support Office (RSO) staff and Soldiers' units, as necessary. Spouses are eligible to attend under an invitational travel order. This allows spouses to leave from their current location, if it's not in the Fort McCoy area, and have their travel and expense costs paid, he said.

      Funding to provide duty pay for Soldiers is available and will be coordinated for Soldiers not currently mobilized on a case-by-case basis. Active-duty Soldiers will be in a temporary-duty (TDY) status. Duty status and pay issues for other Soldiers should be addressed to their units.

      Confirmation to attend the retreat will be sent via e-mail to the Soldiers' Army Knowledge On-line e-mail address. Registration is requested by fax or at the Chapel Center, building 2675, by Saturday, March 8. If necessary, a waiting list will be established at the Chapel Center, and additional funding will be sought, Colwell said.

      "This is open to military personnel who normally would turn to Fort McCoy for chaplain's support," Colwell said. "They are our customers, and we want to serve their needs."

      Any questions can be addressed to the RSO Chaplain's Office at (608) 388-3528.


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