13th Sustainment Soldiers Participate in Marriage Retreat

Story and Photos by: Spc. Serena Franks
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — This Valentine’s Day, instead of chocolates, 17 13th Sustainment Command Couples got valuable tools and information to ensure their relationships see many more Valentine’s Days to come.

The 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Chaplains office hosted a complimentary two day marriage retreat at the Hilton Garden Inn in Round Rock, TX, Feb. 14 and 15.

“This is our 3rd retreat. It is a great time to get away and reconnect with out the kids,” said Sgt. Lanestra Jackson of HHC, 13th SC(E), Deputy Commanding Officer Administrative Assistant.

Lt. Col. Lyndell Stike, 13th SC(E) Chaplain, conducted the retreat and began the first day by giving everyone the rules of the retreat. “Number one, this is a no fight zone! We are here to have a good time.”

Stike also made it clear many people have the misconception these retreats are touchy feely and everyone would sit in a circle and sing Kum By Ya. “This is simply not the case, these retreats are meant to be educational not therapeutic.”

“Our goal is to give the couples the skills to make their marriage work and to learn the danger signs to watch out for,” said Stike.

Stike also encourages all couples within the 13th to make an effort to attend at least one of the offered marriage retreats. “Most of the couples that attend are already pretty stable.”

“We normally don’t get couples that are in distress,” said Stike, “Most of the couples in distress feel they are so far in that it is too late.”

He recommends these couples to seek help through the numerous programs available to service members and their families such as Army One Source, for outside counseling and Family Life Groups and Chaplains here on post.

Spc. Melissa Montford, an administrative specialist with 36 Medical Evacuation Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and her husband Pfc. Edward Montford, Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Calvary Division are expecting their first child and shared that they have had a very hard first year of their marriage and they wanted to get the tools to learn how to work their problems out. “Being here has helped us see that our problems are common, we aren’t the only ones dealing with them.”

Spc. Christopher Castanon, an administrative specialist with HHC, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and his wife Janet had been married just two months before Christopher deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2006.

“Most of our marriage has been in Iraq and we have only been married a little over a year and a half.” said Christopher.

Janet added, “The retreat has given us insight on our relationship and how to deal with our problems positively. I am really glad we came and would definitely recommend this retreat to others!”

For more information on attending a marriage retreat or any of the marriage enrichment programs available for service members and their family’s please contact the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Chaplains office at (254) 288-0267.


Sgt Lanestra Jackson and her husband Sgt M.J. Jackson
Sgt. Lanestra Jackson, an administrative assistant with HHC, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and her husband Sgt. M.J. Jackson, Supply Sergeant with D Co, 3/8 Calvary, 1st Calvary Division take time away from work to attend the 13th Sustainment Command Marriage Retreat to gain some valuable tools to strengthen their relationship.

Pfc Keith Moser and his wife Martha
Pfc. Keith Moser, a chaplain's assistant with 61st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and his wife Martha have been married 20 years. They chose to spend their Valentines Day at the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Marriage Retreat taking the opportunity to get away and reconnect with each other.

Lt. Col. Lyndell Stike
Lt. Col. Lyndell Stike, chaplain for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary, welcomes 17 couples to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Marriage Retreat on February 14th.