Air National Guard Strong Bonds Program

  • Published
  • By Chaplain Daryl Hamaker
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing

The Air National Guard Strong Bonds program is a key resiliency and relational program designed to increase Airmen Warrior readiness through assisting commanders in building and strengthening the structure of ANG families. It may be incorporated as part of the command’s Warrior Readiness and Retention initiatives. It is a preventative skills-based relationship building program led by the ANG Chaplain Corps. Twelve hours of Strong Bonds training is recommended annually for Airmen and family members to gain the most benefit from participation in the program. Chaplain Corps members provide follow-up support, reintegration and reunion ministries and other programs to build strong ANG families in order to have fewer divorces, suicides and to enhance the overall spiritual health of individuals.

Here at the 117 ARW, we participate in this program by providing an annual Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage retreat by Mark Gungor. This weekend retreat is designed to make a good marriage better! As an all-expense paid event, I am very surprised at just how few take advantage of it. The event takes place at Alabama’s 4H Center in Columbiana. It provides a rustic, yet, very user-friendly facility that allows couples an environment of fewer distractions to focus on each other. One participant described it this way, “Mark Gungor uses a brilliant combination of humor and no-nonsense straight talk to address the frailties of modern marriage and offers practical solutions to make it better”, said Ken Davis, author, comedian, and radio host of Lighten Up and Live.

If you like to laugh and want to make a good marriage better, I encourage you to attend!