CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — Soldiers from the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division are doing everything they can to become better spouses and combat the high divorce rate among service members.
Each month at the Engineer Chapel the unit conducts a four week class on "The Five Love Languages," using short videos, literature and experienced advice from marriage counselors on how Soldiers can become better partners to their spouses back home.
"Our mission is to build strong and ready Soldiers and families, better prepared to meet the mental, emotional and spiritual challenges of deployment and military life," said Chaplain (Capt.) Chester Olson, one of the program leaders. "Soldiers redeploy as better men, better husbands and better fathers."
The focal point in this class is how a person can learn their spouse's love language and by focusing in on that language, how it can improve communication in their relationship.
"I just celebrated my one year anniversary last month, said Pfc. Sean Tika, a Queens, N.Y. native. "My wife and I have taken this class before and when we applied the lessons on how to speak to each other's love language it has really made a huge difference in our marriage."
The class, which meets once a week for four weeks, explores each of the five love languages that a person responds to in a relationship: words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts and acts of service. The class also requires the Soldiers to do a little research to figure out which one their spouse uses.
"Our homework was to find out our spouse's love language," said Sgt. Anthony Robles, who has been married five years and a father of two children from Worcester, Mass. "When we did find out, we had to learn what their language meant."
The class was not only for newlyweds, but for Soldiers with a few more years of marriage under their belts, as well as single Soldiers.
"I have been married for six years now," said Sgt. Justin Cumming, a father of a two year old daughter from Richland, Wash. "My wife and I have a great relationship, but I am taking this class because I always want to improve on being a better husband in my marriage."
In addition to forging better relationships, the class also helps with a Soldier's readiness.
"Our unit cannot accomplish its mission without the fundamental support of families," said Olsen. "A strong and ready family enhances the soldier's ability to perform his duties, while maintaining positive and irreversible momentum throughout the deployment."
This work, Making better spouses in combat, by SSG Luisito Brooks, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.