USS Boxer, At Sea (NNS) After being deployed for more than seven months, Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) prepare to re-integrate with their families.
Lt. Cmdr. Darren Stennett, a Navy Chaplain from Pensacola, Fla., is helping service members with the re-integration process by facilitating a class about a book called “The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman.
In the “The Five Love Languages,” Chapman teaches readers to interpret and speak the five love languages, which he defines as: receiving gifts, words of affection, physical touch, quality time and acts of service. Chapman explains that in order to have a happy relationship one must learn to recognize the love languages and speak their significant other’s language. In return couples learn to understand each other better.
“Understanding that re-integrating families after an extended deployment is difficult. We wanted to be proactive in the return and reunion process. It’s a really simple program that I think can enhance any relationship. I believe that in a relatively short amount of time it can make any relationship better,” said Stennett.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Glenn, from Greenville, S.C., attended the first class in hopes that it helps the re-integration process with his spouse.
“I want to better understand her, and take in what she says. I try to give her gifts and try to do things that a normal husband would try to do to help, like help clean up around the house, and help take care of our son. Like ordinary couples, there are times where there is disconnection. So I’m taking what I learned and trying to incorporate it daily to see what her thoughts are on it, and I’m hoping to make our marriage stronger,” said Glenn.
Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Christina Park, who is single, attended for personal knowledge in her future dating endeavors and was incredibly surprised at what she learned about herself after attending the class.
“After experiencing a sore emotional disaster with my previous relationship, I finally came to realize one fact about myself; that I don't know what I can do to have an everlasting relationship. I felt the need to educate myself and become a better person. A person that can make a better relationship, no matter who I am with and what kind of environment I am in,” said Park.
Regardless of each situation Stennett’s courses are for everyone in multiple aspects of love.
“It is designed to help you know yourself first and then know your, husband, wife or child. It is my hope that each Sailor and Marine will learn this simple tool that will make life better and every relationship more fulfilling and rewarding,” said Stennett.
Park feels that she is prepared to succeed in her future endeavors.
“The five love languages training gave me so much confidence and sense of control. I actually took a few other relationship courses before the five love languages course. Most of them mention to find something that makes the other person happy and do it, but my question was, what exactly do I need to do to figure that something out? This course gave me the exact tool to do just that,” said Park.
The “Five Love Languages” course is only the first in a series of relationship enhancement and personal enrichment classes being offered throughout the remainder of the deployment.
Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.