News: MCCS offers Spanish L.I.N.K.S.
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
BEAUFORT, S.C. - In a move towards educating more Marines and their families, Marine Corps Community Services will offer the Marine Corps’ first Spanish Lifestyles, Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge, Skills or L.I.N.K.S class at the Air Station’s Marine Corps Family Team Building office, Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Marines and their families are entitled to many benefits as members of the Armed Forces. Many of these benefits are unbeknownst to those unaware. To combat this Marine Corps Community Services developed L.I.N.K.S.
According to the 2010 Marine Corps Almanac, more than 22,000 of the Corps’ force is Hispanic. With diversity as a focus in manpower, the figure is sure to remain steady.
“This is the first complete LINKS in Spanish, everything is translated in Spanish, all the mentors and material,” said Veronica Stephens, the L.I.N.K.S. administrative specialist for MCCS. “[The class allows spouses] to share experiences with each other and network with others that are going through the same things.”
The mission of L.I.N.K.S. is to help Marines and their families understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents.
“We teach spouses to become independent dependants,” said Stephens, a native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. “[At the class, spouses are able] to connect, which is especially important for the Spanish speaking community that feel alone.”
Some topics covered at L.I.N.K.S. presentations include; Marine Corps history, tradition and language, benefits and services, financial awareness, dealing with separation and deployments, tips on moving and effective communication.
“Page by page, the information is translated into Spanish for spouses to review,” said Stephens. “I put myself in their situation; if I didn’t understand anything in English I couldn’t ask for help if I didn’t know that there are people out there to help me.”
To focus on the demographic, spouses are encouraged to attend the class alone. For those with children, free childcare will be provided by the Child Development Center aboard the Air Station. Lunch will also be provided.
“Our main purpose is to serve the Marines, sailors and their families,” said Stephens.
For more information on the class, visit www.mccssc. com. Spouses interested in attending can register by calling Veronica Stephens at 228-7362 or email Veronica.N.Stephens@ usmc-mccs.org.