111th ATKW Chaplain team focuses on ‘Strong Bonds’

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Wil Acosta
  • 111th Attack Wing

BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. -- 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, Pennsylvania, Aug. 12-14, 2002.

Two dozen of the Wing’s families attended the Strong Bonds Family Retreat Weekend designed to strengthen family ties and develop new resiliency tools and habits.

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 Chaplain's Office senior enlisted leaders, Master Sgt. Earl Scott and Master Sgt. Jason Stehly, as well as chapel operations noncommissioned officer in charge, Tech. Sgt. Fallon Masscotte, to plan and execute the weekend’s events.

“There are three items that I share at the beginning of each weekend, and throughout the weekend and in closing,” said Repic. “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 connectedness.”

Members of the 111th ATKW Resiliency Team were also there to support the Wing Chaplains and religious affairs team. Prizes were offered throughout the weekend thanks to support from Anna Richar, Airmen and Family Readiness Program Manager. Mark Obenour, 111th ATKW Director of Psychological Health Program was also in attendance to support the event.

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

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

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

"Good time for focusing on the family, as well as meeting and connecting with others from the Wing," said one review. Another review said, "We pray and hope that this amazing weekend will be done more often. We had such a great time, loved spending time with the family without interruptions."

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

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