News: Men's conference works to help Soldiers keep families strong
By Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – A chaplain with the 118th Multi-Functional Medical Battalion hosted the Men's Conference 2010, Time to Break Loose II, April 30, at Provider Chapel at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
The conference was designed to enrich and strengthen family life for deployed service members - with advice on handling spiritual and emotional interference that could cause problems in relationships, said Lt. Col. James H. Finn, the chaplain with the 118th MMB., 1st Medical Brigade, and the main speaker for the conference.
"My presentation tonight was primarily on family," he said. "Breaking loose with family and all the things that keep a family from being successful and getting on the right track … and how we break loose from those things and get on with life and have a good relationship with our family members."
Staff Sgt. Bruce E. Klepps, a cook with G Company, 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Dayton, Tenn., native, attended the conference.
Klepps said the conference was inspirational.
"The conference was very uplifting," Klepps said. "It helped to see that we can fall to deception, taught us how to overcome that and to put our wives first."
Klepps said he enjoys having this type of spiritual support while deployed.
"[It] helps [a Soldier] to realize that he is not here alone, that God is with him at all times, that no matter where we are at, that God is here even in Iraq," Klepps said. We are all one in the family of God, we are all brothers in the Lord."
Finn said providing good spiritual leadership to deployed Soldiers allows them to connect better with their Families at home.
"Without these things, a lot of times, it does not give the Soldiers and civilians, and Ugandan soldiers, a point of contact with spiritual advice and spirit resilience which allows Soldiers first to have the right relationship with their families back home," Finn said. "If they do not have access to the programs and to the leadership, then they cannot get the counseling they need [for] some of the situations, issues and frustrations, and hindrances that can actually destroy marriages taken care of and resolved."
Another men's conference is planned for May 8, said Finn, with a morning meeting from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon meeting from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Finn said these specialized programs are available to men, women, married and single Soldiers.
Soldiers looking for more information on these types of services should contact their unit chaplain.