111th ATKW Chaplain Team Focuses on ‘Strong Bonds’ > Air National Guard > Article Display

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BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pennsylvania — The 111th Attack Wing chaplain team, headquartered at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, hosted a group of more than 100 Airmen and their family members for a free family training retreat in King of Prussia, Pa., Aug. 12-14, 2002.

Two dozen Wing families participated in the Strong Bonds Family Retreat Weekend designed to strengthen family bonds and develop new tools and habits of resilience.

For this Strong Bonds event, 111th ATKW Chaplains Maj. Tony Repic and Capt. Paul Perreault both worked with the 111th ATKW Religious Affairs Team, which consists of the 111th ATKW’s Office senior a enlisted leaders, Staff Sgt. Earl Scott and Staff Sgt. Jason Stehly, as well as the NCO in charge of chapel operations, Tech. sergeant. Fallon Masscotte, to plan and execute weekend events.

“There are three elements that I share at the start of each weekend, and throughout the weekend and at the close,” Repic said. “First, have fun as a family, unplug and engage. Second, apply at least one new tool or habit you learned here. Finally, tell others about this free getaway weekend where you will be equipped to increase overall resilience and connectivity.

Members of the 111th ATKW Resilience Team were also there to support the Wing Chaplains and Religious Affairs Team. Prizes were offered throughout the weekend thanks to the support of Anna Richar, Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager. Mark Obenour, 111th ATKW Psychological Health Program Manager was also on hand to support the event.

“My wife and I have been to several Strong Bond events,” said Master Sgt. Earl W. Stagg Jr., a financial technician with the 111th Controller Flight here. “What made this one different was being able to take our four kids with us when the other retreats were for couples only.”

Stagg said the overall benefits of being at the event with her whole family outweighed the challenges of bringing the kids.

Anonymous participant feedback collected through an after-action report was also positive.

“A great time to focus on family, as well as to meet and connect with others on the Wing,” said one review. Another reviewer said: “We pray and hope this amazing weekend happens more. We had such a great time, loved spending time with the family without interruptions.”

A church service was offered on Sunday mornings for families to worship together as Strong Bonds is a chaplain-sponsored military program.

“Healthy and resilient families are the foundation of our society,” said Repic. “They are essential for success at work and at home.”



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