CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge & Skills course for Service members and their Spouses graduated from a two day class at Camp Pendleton on Feb. 26.
L.I.N.K.S. is a Marine Corps Community Services program designed to enhance the readiness of Marine Corps families by providing resources that can help enhance their education and personal growth.
“[L.I.N.K.S.] equips families to successfully meet the challenges of Marine Corps life. Less formally, our goal is to give Marine Corps families knowledge, skills, insight and networking opportunities to help them thrive in this lifestyle,” said Cassandra Renard, a L.I.N.K.S. administrative specialist.
L.I.N.K.S. for Spouses specifically gives spouses tools for overcoming obstacles that come with the military lifestyle.
“For example, in the Pay Day section, participants learn about different military pays and how to read Leave and Earning Statements which enables them to plan ahead and avoid financial issues,” said Renard. “In the Crossroads section, participants gain insight into planning military moves. Another very popular section includes on- and off-base resources that are available to military families whenever they need them.”
L.I.N.K.S. facilitates networking and fosters relationships among the participants and volunteers.
“These can become the support systems that prepare families to thrive, not just survive, in the military lifestyle,” Renard added.
The course is split up and tailored to a variety of audiences, like spouses, couples, new and expecting parents, kids, teens, parents, and Marines.
“One size never fits all, and not all information is of practical use to different groups. For example, Marine spouses, teens and kids all experience separations and deployments, but they experience them in different ways,” said Renard.
She continued, “At L.I.N.K.S. for Kids, we talk about why Marines have to "leave;" whereas L.I.N.K.S. for Spouses emphasizes readiness, operational security, the cycle of emotions, etc. Also, spouses, teens and kids are engaged by different presentation styles.”
L.I.N.K.S. tailors the information and activities to ensure that the L.I.N.K.S. mission is accomplished.
“One they are not alone, two there is assistance available, and three they can not only survive separations and deployments, they can thrive,” said Renard. “The military community is filled with real-life, positive role models. L.I.N.K.S. helps spouses reach out, connect and grow stronger during separations and deployments.”