Robins’ Chapel to host Spiritual Date Night for active-duty, spouses July 17

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Date nights are great, but they’re even better when someone else picks up the tab.

The Robins Air Force Base Chapel will host a Spiritual Date Night at the Olive Garden at 3020 Watson Blvd, Warner Robins, Ga., on July 17, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The free dinner will give active-duty military members and their spouses a chance to connect and focus on what’s important – their relationship.

“Spiritual Date Night is an interfaith Chapel-led program designed to provide military couples a chance to intentionally connect over good food and conversation in a positive, pleasant environment free of stress related to work or children,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Josh Hammans, with the 78th Air Base Wing Chapel.

Interested military members must sign up by contacting the chapel at 478-926-2821 or email Staff Sgt. Rusty Smith at rusty.smith.4@us.af.mil and courtesy copy 78abw.hcworkflow@us.af.mil and providing their first and last name and military rank, spouse’s first and last name, the military member's squadron name, work email address, and a contact phone number.

Hammans said those who sign up are put on an Evite and must RSVP by the deadline to reserve a slot.  One week out, those who RSVP’d will be asked to re-confirm their attendance via an official email with a voting option, clicking ‘yes’ to confirm.

“Over time we’ve learned that one line of verification was insufficient and we always have a wait list of personnel interested,” he said.  “As such, we require members wanting a slot to verify twice as things come up and we have found people often do not call to cancel unless prompted.”

The Spiritual Date Night events began during the summer of 2016.

“The Chapel’s Annual Needs Assessment has revealed marital stressors and distress as one of the top five repeatedly noted problem areas or areas of struggle across all squadrons on the base,” Hammans said.

Spiritual Date Night exists to begin addressing the need of couples to connect, communicate well and be intentional with one another on a regular basis by investing in each other intentionally, said Hammans.

“Not only is this important for any couple, but military marriages often see more than the average level of external stressors: TDY’s (temporary duty), deployments, long work hours, etc. The program benefits military couples in several ways and by doing so, enhances resiliency in both the social and spiritual pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.”

Currently, the couples able to participate are restricted to active duty military, Hammans said.

“This restriction comes from three areas, goals of the 78th ABW’s Airman Ministry Plan (the core local document that guides all chapel programs), limitations in the amount of funding and the legalities related to how the funding can be utilized. Our current source of funding requires we use the money for Title 10 personnel only.

The next date nights will be Monday and Aug. 21.

“So far, we are intending to hold both upcoming events at the local Warner Robins Olive Garden,” Hammans said.

Hammans said the events occurred infrequently in the past due to funding; however, the chapel currently has funding to do one a month for the summer months.

“We’re hoping to continue doing them on a more frequent basis in the upcoming fiscal year, but this will require adequate funding,” he said.

Call the Base Chapel at 478-926-2821 for more information.