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News // May 24, 2021

New Program Supports Coast Guard Family Resilience Nationwide

  • Ron LaBrec

Generous donors aid chaplains with counseling training

The Coast Guard Foundation is the first organization the service’s leaders call when faced with new and emerging needs. And like the Coast Guard, we respond quickly and effectively.

The challenges all families face are amplified for Coast Guard members, whose service can include long deployments and being stationed away from immediate family and support. These difficulties reached a new high with COVID-19 as frontline members overcame new hurdles to safely complete missions and families juggled daily activities with pandemic stresses.

Morale quickly became a concern for Coast Guard leaders, with ADM Charlie Ray noting “the sense of stress and uncertainty that’s placed on each of us and on our families as we try to balance doing our mission, with taking care of our families, and with taking care of ourselves.”

The Foundation piloted a program in 2019 to equip Coast Guard chaplains to counsel members and spouses, and we prioritized expanding this program. Through the generosity of the Seraph Foundation, Monica Adorno and Dick and Annette Symons, more than 22 chaplains and assistants were quickly trained in the Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP).

Dick and Annette Symons Web
Dick and Annette Symons

Dick Symons, a retired Coast Guard commander, and his wife Annette have supported the Coast Guard Foundation for more than a decade generously funding a variety of programs. They are also deeply committed to programs that support families and their spiritual needs.

“I’ve seen firsthand the essential support that Chaplains provide to Coast Guard members and their families on a daily basis,” said Dick Symons. “Annette and I are proud to support vital programs such as PREP that are not normally funded by the Coast Guard.”

The mission of Coast Guard chaplains includes maintaining the morale of members and helping couples thrive within the military lifestyle. By equipping them to use PREP during counseling sessions and retreats and funding suicide prevention and stress management programs, we support the healthy relationships and marriages of Coast Guard members so they have a strong base of support for their service.

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Cover Photo: Chaplains from across the Coast Guard held a seminar at the Alumni Center at the Coast Guard Academy. U.S. Coast Guard file photo.

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