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LINKS eases families' transition to military life

Military family members often struggle to understand the unique and challenging atmosphere of life in the Armed Forces.

Many spouses, especially, find the transition to the military life stressful and confusing.

To help conquer these issues, the Marine Corps has the Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills (LINKS) program that provides families with tools that could help them overcome some challenges found in the military culture.

The program enhances the readiness of families by fostering their education and personal growth by using a volunteer, team-mentoring concept in which those with more knowledge help the ones with little or no experience.

Camp Pendleton LINKS offers instructional sessions aimed at Marines, spouses, parents, teens and children. All meetings are focused on the same issues but discussed with a different approach depending on the group.

“Camp Pendleton is one of the very few installations successfully running every one of these sessions,” said Christina Actis, LINKS trainer at the San Luis Rey Family Readiness Center.

At the meetings, participants receive an introduction to the Marine Corps covering its mission, culture, history and traditions. Topics such as benefits and services, pay and allowances, duty station changes, resources for maintaining positive personal relationships and tips and strategies to help prepare for deployments are also discussed.

A chaplain is also normally present to talk to spouses about relationship issues in an open and friendly environment, said Actis.

“What’s great about LINKS is that we don’t have or discuss rank here,” said Actis. “I could be a general’s wife and nobody would ever know.”

For more information, contact the LINKS team at the San Luis Rey Family Readiness Center at (760) 725-9052.

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