In 2002, my Husband, Tim got orders back to Camp Lejeune, NC. This was home for me so it was an easy move. Until this point I had not participated in any of the spouse support systems that the military offered. When we found out that his unit was being deployed to his first combat zone the support we needed as a family was different. So, now when they offered classes and workshops to give spouses information I went. One of my favorite workshops was a program called LINKS. (Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge, & Skills) This class covered several topics including all the important things that family members need to know. I learned so much and had so much fun that day, so when they offered volunteer opportunities at the end of the day I signed up. This was the beginning of a new season.
LINKS became my passion. First, I went through the program to teach, then I helped manage the team and trained others spouses become mentors, and eventually being selected the Team Leader. Shortly after my season ended with the LINKS Team at Camp Lejeune I started traveling with MARFORRES Team. They traveled to Marine Corps Reserve Units all across the country. I traveled with this team for many years. Being a part of these predominantly female teams taught me so much about women. I loved everything about it, well except for the politics. That has never been my strong suit.
This was the beginning of my coaching career, being a part of this diverse and talented team prepared me for leading organizations and facilitating workshops under a variety of conditions. On the traveling team we never really knew what our classroom set up might be, how many people were participating, or if our materials were going to show up, etc. Our team consisted of 15-20 members, we only needed 2-3 of them to lead the sessions. This taught us how to work together and compliment one another’s teaching style. While this certainly had its challenges this also provided excellent training.