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Seventeen spouses, whose Marines are deploying with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, met for a Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills class aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 17, 2012. L.I.N.K.S. classes provide Marine spouses with a better understanding of the Marine Corps and the challenges of living a military lifestyle, while building the groundwork for a support system with other spouses.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson

Spouses get down to Marine Corps basics

21 Sep 2012 | Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson

Marines make no pretense of being normal. They live in a world with its own language and values. Their last names function as their first names; their clocks have 24 hours instead of twelve; and they have an acronym or phrase for nearly everything.

A Marine’s life can seem like a maze to their families back home, but thanks to the Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills class, their loved ones have access to the map.

Seventeen spouses, whose Marines are deploying with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, took hold of that map during a L.I.N.K.S. class here, Sept. 17.

“It’s about getting the spouses informed so they can be more independent,” said Tracie Newman, the family readiness officer for CLR-2. “They can be an asset to their Marines, and knowledge is power for them.”

They started with the nuts and bolts as the instructors broke down the rank structure, unit organization and traditions of the Marine Corps.

The class then discussed effective communication techniques and financial awareness. The volunteer instructors reviewed common terms used in the Marine Corps and even demonstrated how to read a Leave and Earning Statement, which documents a Marine’s income every month.

The spouses also learned about the benefits they can receive, such as healthcare, education assistance and career planning.

“I think it’s incredibly informative,” said Samantha Taylor, whose husband is a Marine with the regiment. “I had a lot of questions. It can be a challenge dealing with things, such as moving and constantly being ready to reposition your schedule because the Marine Corps needs him at 3:00 in the morning.”

Taylor has been married for less than one year, and her husband is now preparing for deployment. They canceled their large family wedding because of his training schedule.

Dealing with the common challenges associated with moving and the stress of deployment was a focal point for the attendees as CLR-2 is preparing for deployment.

“There are other people in the same boat, and they do share interests,” said Newman, who pointed out that one spouse was married for only two weeks and another for 27 years, but both were drawn together by L.I.N.K.S. “They got to see who is more experienced and who can be a possible mentor.”

Building a sense of teamwork is one of the great benefits of L.I.N.K.S., said Newman. It shows Marines their spouses are an asset to them, and it shows spouses they are an asset to each other.

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