DVIDS – News – DLIFLC hike aims to build spiritual resilience in students


MONTEREY PRESIDIO, Calif. (August 23, 2022) – Chaplain (Captain) Yaw Agbenu didn’t have to talk much as he led a Spiritual Resilience Hike from the Language Institute’s Foreign Language Center. defense at Point Lobos Nature Preserve on August 20.

Instead, the foggy California coast with its twisted old cypresses, pelicans and Spanish moss provided much of the inspiration for spiritual resilience – no words needed.

The hike was part of an ongoing series of non-denominational hikes that take the school’s language students into nature to ease stress, meet people and see the beautiful Monterey area. They take place on the third and fourth Saturdays of each month and students can do as many as they want. With no shortage of breathtaking hikes within a half-hour drive of Monterey, the hikes also offer variety and accommodate busy student schedules. they leave at 9 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m.

“This hike is one of the ways to provide students with the opportunity to get out of school and their dormitories and enjoy nature,” said Agbenu, chaplain of the army’s 229th Military Intelligence Battalion. “They can talk to their friends, refresh and reset for the tasks ahead of them in the weeks ahead.”

Service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force attend DLIFLC, and about half of the approximately 24 students on the Aug. 20 ride were soldiers and half were airmen. Organizers welcome all members of the DLIFLC community, and attendees also included at least one instructor and another chaplain. The students said they appreciated the opportunity.

“I love hiking so it was nice to come hang out and relax,” said Spc. Sterling Aytes, assigned to the 229th MI Bn. and study Mandarin Chinese.

Aytes, who arrived at the DLIFLC about two months ago, said California was new to him, so he was happy to get out and see the area.

Chaplain (Maj.) Calvin Park, DLIFLC chaplain, attended with his wife and said the rides are important because they motivate service members to study, which ultimately benefits the nation and the community in his outfit.

“We need to invest in them to do their best in their studies so they can bring good things to our country,” Park said. “Not only in the military, but also in our community… That’s why we joined our army, to serve our nation and our community.

Agbenu started the hike by asking everyone to introduce themselves and say one thing that makes them happy. At another point, he asked participants to name something that made them grateful. Then, about halfway through, Agbenu led a short discussion on resilience. He gathered everyone in a clearing surrounded by cypress trees, about 50 feet from the Pacific Ocean, and talked about the importance of having an anchor in life.

“No matter how you launch the ship, the anchor is what anchors the ship so it doesn’t get swept away,” Agbenu told the students. “I want to connect this to our lives. In our lives and our emotions, what is our anchoring that founds our emotions? »

Agbenu encouraged students to find this grounding in their lives, telling them it would help them through difficult times. He also talked about the importance of maintaining priorities in life and making good choices.

For most of the hike, however, participants met new people, talked to each other, and took in the beautiful scenery.

Agbenu said he has been on more than 20 hikes and still enjoys them.

“I would like to encourage everyone to take advantage of these hikes and participate in them,” said Agbenu. “It’s a way to get out of your comfort zone, to go out, to meet other people, to enjoy nature, to encourage someone or to be encouraged by someone.”

Hikes are free and upcoming hikes include a mountain hike to Jack’s Peak on August 27; a Garrapata coastal hike on September 17; and a Garrapata Redwood hike on September 24. To register or for more information, call the battalion chaplains office at (831) 242-5632 or (831) 242-7725. For more information on Army Resilience Resources, visit the Army Resilience Directorate website at www.armyresilience.army.mil.

Date taken: 23.08.2022
Date posted: 23.08.2022 13:50
Story ID: 427867
Location: California, United States

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