Fort Polk Community
Vow renewal makes date night romantic
Story by Angie Thorne on 02/15/2019
FORT POLK, La. In today’s hectic, technology driven world, life can move at frightening speeds. Sometimes couples need to take a break from the madness to slow down and appreciate what they have in each other. A special date night, held at Army Community Service Feb. 8, was the perfect opportunity for Fort Polk spouses to concentrate on their significant other while having a good time and metaphorically speaking “stop to smell the roses.” The romantic evening included dinner, dancing, fun games, door prizes and the couples in attendance were also able to renew their wedding vows.
Events like date night allow married couples to care for and nurture their relationship by focusing on themselves and the positive points in their relationship, said Kristina England, ACS Family Advocacy Program manager.
“There are tons of distractions in daily life. Couples deal with everything from work stress and finances to kids and screen time on phones and computers that take away from time spent together. They can easily forget how important it is to give their relationship the attention it deserves. Date night gives them one evening to step away from the kids, put down their phones, sit across from each other and refocus and communicate with each other,” she said. “The vow ceremony portion of the date night event gave couples an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to each other and renew that spark by saying I love you and I choose you again.”
Army life is hard a date night like this gives spouses a chance to relax and have a night of romance that they don’t have to plan, said England.
“They can leave the little details to us, which gives them the opportunity to focus on building their relationship skills and reconnecting as a couple. In the long run, that can make their relationship stronger, so when they go through tough times in the future they will have a strong foundation to weather the storm and the tools and resiliency to get through challenging times,” she said.
Before the vow renewal portion of the evening Chap. (Lt. Col.) Derrick Riggs, Fort Polk garrison chaplain, spoke to the couples about the significance of their relationship.
“In the Old Testament, God makes the statement that it is not good for man to be alone. I will make for him a helper. The two will become one,” he said.
“The intent, when God instituted the union of marriage, was to put you in a relationship where you were designed to function as a partner. Every couple here, whether they have been married for months or many years, have realized one important fact this is a relationship in which two individuals form a single unit. The union of two (husband and wife) becoming one,” he said.
Riggs said the evening was an opportunity for the couples to rejoice in the decision to celebrate their marriage and the renewal of their vows.
He ended with a prayer in which he asked God for guidence as the couples continue the development of their relationships and lives.
“Lord, help them to put each other first in all things to love, care for and communicate with each other so they look foward to the next five, 10 or more years and know they will make it and be successful.”
Chap. (Maj.) William Glenn, Fort Polk Family Life Chaplain, performed the vow renewal ceremony for the 17 couples in attendance. “I thank you for allowing us to share in the continued celebration of your love for one another. We come together, not to mark the start of a relationship, but to focus on a bond that will continue to grow and strengthen in love,” he said.
Glenn continued the vow renewal ceremony right up to “you may kiss the bride.”
Attending their first date night, Melissa Galaise and her spouse, Spc. Joshua Galaise, 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, said the evening was a wonderful chance for them to get out and spend some time together.
“We have three kids, so it can be hard to make time for just us. This night is also nice because our anniversary is Feb. 28 and he (Joshua) will be in the field, so this vow renewal was the perfect chance for us to celebrate early,” said Melissa.
Galaise said date night gave him the perfect opportunity to spend time with his wife.
Another couple attending their first date night was Sgt. Patrick Healy, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and his spouse, Simone.
Healy said though he and his spouse had never been to a date night, they have enjoyed participating in many other Fort Polk events for couples and Families.
“We always have a blast, so we were excited about tonight. Our anniversary is the day before Valentine’s Day and we wanted to participate in the vow renewal ceremony,” he said.
They had a small wedding ceremony, said Simone. “So attending this large event with other couples to share this experience was nice and a chance to add a fun adventure to our crazy love story,” she said.