MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE Albany, Ga. --
A two-day training session scheduled for Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Base Chapel classroom offers Marine Corps spouses an opportunity to learn about the service’s culture, on-base and off-base activities as well as make new friends.
Dubbed L.I.N.K.S. for Spouses, the program focuses on the Marine Corps’ Lifestyle, Insights from experienced spouses to assist in adapting to the lifestyle, Networking with other spouses and people during the Marine Corps journey, Knowledge to help navigate the military culture and new Skills to thrive in the Marine Corps community.
“L.I.N.K.S. is the foundation of the Family Readiness Program,” said Kelley Hall, family readiness trainer, Marine and Family Services, Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “All (active-duty) spouses, whether they live on or off base, are encouraged to attend, even if they have been in the Marine Corps awhile, but are new to the area or are new spouses and know nothing about the military.”
She added the training is conducted in a fun way so attendees have a good time and light refreshments are provided.
During the session, mentors - other spouses, some who have been living the Marine Corps’ lifestyle for many years and some who are newer to it - cover topics such as Marine Corps history, base services and resources, military moving, deployment and separation, staying Marine and investing in the community.
“(We) develop a mentor team,” Hall said. “The L.I.N.K.S. mentor is a dual program - they mentor other spouses and (in return) it gives them invaluable public speaking experience they can use on their résumés.”
She noted topics are tailored to fit spouses with the most experience or going through the experience.
One such mentor is Kia Sloan, wife of Gunnery Sgt. Fredrick Sloan, Garrison Supply, Logistics Support Division, MCLB Albany.
Sloan, who’s lived here for one year with her husband and two daughters, ages 8 and 1, said this is the first time she’s been a L.I.N.K.S. mentor.
“She’s a great spouse to have on this team because she epitomizes the role model, which is, what a mentor is and she always has a positive attitude,” Hall said.
Sharing her knowledge learned during her 16 years of Marine Corps living to help other spouses learn more about military life and the Marine Corps, advising spouses to begin participating in activities as soon as they arrive here and military moving are Sloan’s goals.
“There is a close-knit family-type environment (here) where new spouses can get involved with activities on and off base, visit (the Information, Tickets and Travel office as well as participate in activities such as) Friday Fitness Club, Playmorning for children, Women’s Bible study, L.I.N.K.S., and Spouses Meet and Greet,” she said. “(The base has) a bowling alley and a library. I’ve done all these things and have been to the Flint RiverQuarium (off base). The (Albany James H. Gray Sr.) Civic Center has shows (and) arena football games and (I’ve been to the local) carnival by the (Albany) Mall and Marks Melon Patch (in Dawson). Getting off the base will give them a neat outlook of Albany. There are volunteer opportunities on and off base.”
Sloan will give a presentation on Tuesday about moving in the military. From Wilmington, N.C., she’s moved six times during the 16 years. Her husband is from Honea Path, S.C.
“One bit of advice I would give about moving is don’t stress,” she said. “Research your new duty station, schools, community (you’ll) live in and make living arrangements before getting there. If (you) have children (and they are old enough,) involve them in the move. I think it helps with the transition of the move.”
Free child care is available at the Child Development Center and interested spouses should call Hall at (229) 639-6171 for child care details or more information about L.I.N.K.S.