Camp Lejeune offers training program for parents of new Marines

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT)–For new Marines, acclimating into life in the military is hardest the first year.

To mitigate concerns that may come with the information overload, the Corps developed the L.I.N.K.S. program to help. L.I.N.K.S. stands for lifestyle, insight, networking, knowledge, and skill.

Nearly 100 family members of new Marines gathered on Monday aboard New River Air Station to learn about acclimating into a new life in the military.

“It’s going to help them further on in their career and help their Marine in their career down the road whether they stay in 20 years, 30 years, or 40 years,” L.I.N.K.S. trainer, Jaclyn Jones said. “It alleviates a lot of issues they could potentially have as long as they know what’s available to them.”

Everything from taxes to deployments to rank structure is covered. The class helps families find helpful online resources for acclimating to the lifestyle. Most importantly, it teaches them how to support their Marines.

Erin Langes is a father of two Marines. He attended the class to learn how to better relate to what his kids are going through.

“It’s about supporting them,” Langes said. “That way we can still have a relationship with each other and know what resources we have and can do for them from our end.”

The message taught in the program is about thriving instead of merely surviving.

“It is overwhelming,” said Maria Paterra, a mother of a new Marine. “So it’s a great thing to know that you have a support group so you can ask questions. I know I can get online and ask other moms who have been through what I am going through right now.”

There are 16 links programs across the nation. Camp Lejeune and San Diego are the only bases that offer the parent trainings.

“This is a way of Marines learning how to do this all on their own and not relying on their parents to give them the tools and things they need,” Jones said. “We want them to go back to the resources available on the base.”

The classes are offered throughout the year. You can find more dates and times on the MCCS website.

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