Strong Bonds retreat in Garmisch, Germany, January 2011

Enjoying an afternoon of snow and sun, laughing children and smiling adults scatter along the sledding slop, whizzing down the hill or watching others go by in Garmisch, Germany. This past weekend 22 U.S. Army Africa couples and their 42 children went to Edelweiss Lodge and Resort for a Strong Bonds marriage retreat.

“This weekend put our lives on pause so we could breathe each other in again,” said Amiia Coffey, whose husband recently returned from deployment. “It let us step away from our crazy lives to focus on each other and how different we are.”

“Army leaders feel it is very important for Soldiers to have a strong marital relations and that’s why they fund this program,” said Chaplain (Col.) Jonathan McGraw.

The next USARAF couples retreat will be April 15-17. Strong Bonds programs are offered through the unit’s corresponding Chaplain’s office, said McGraw.

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