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DVIDS – News – Fort Drum FAP shares recipe for building healthy relationships

FORT DRUM, NY (Oct. 23, 2023) — Good food, like a healthy relationship, can nourish the soul.

The Fort Drum Family Advocacy Program staff shared the recipes to build strong Army families during the “Cook With Your Mate” class Oct. 18 at the Enrichment Center.

“You can really get to know your spouse when you’re cooking with them in the kitchen,” said Ali Larisa, Fort Drum FAP educator. “Spending that quality time together cooking and sharing a meal that you both made – that goes directly into building a healthy relationship.”

During the two-hour class, Larisa provided step-by-step instructions on how to make homemade ravioli with a creamy tomato sauce, and an apple, date, and walnut pie in a jar for dessert. The couples shared the workload, applying improvisation to the menu at times and figuring out how to fix mistakes along the way.

“It’s a little bit like a date night,” Larisa said. “We wanted it to be an experience that you don’t normally get to do.”

Attendees also were introduced to the concept of love languages, and how people receive and express love in a relationship. These include the words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts.

Nicole Wetzel, FAP educator, said that her love of language is an act of service. She said her family knows that she feels loved when they help around the house without being asked.

The class was part of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign, which included a 5K run, a space exploration event, a mandala art class, and an upcoming family painting event.

“The main focus in our awareness campaign is to engage individuals, couples and families in healthy relationship-building activities,” Wetzel said. “Events like Mindful Mandalas, Journey to the Stars, the Newlywed Game and Monster Paint are all ways for FAP to reach and raise awareness about healthy relationships to a very wide audience.”

A variety of classes and workshops designed to build communication and relationship-building skills are available to community members throughout the year.

These include Take Control… Anger and Stress Management, Healthy Environments, and Building Blocks for Better Communication. They also provide a four-week Positive Parenting Series and host a First Time Parent support group.

To learn more about FAP programs or to register for a class, call (315) 772-5914. The FAP office is located inside the Soldier and Family Readiness Center, Bldg. 10250, on 4th Armored Division Drive.

“Everyone can get on board and relate to the goal of developing stronger bonds,” Wetzel said. “It is something easy to talk to your partner about, or even kids of all ages. Encouraging and understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors is one of the keys to helping people protect themselves.”

Wetzel said people often tend to dissociate when domestic violence topics are presented because they have a preconceived notion of what that looks like.

“They imagine the classic ideas and images from movies or headlines, and they don’t realize that domestic violence comes in many forms,” ​​she said.

While most domestic abuse cases are linked to physical assault, that is only one type of abuse. Others include sexual and emotional abuse, control, isolation, verbal abuse, and financial abuse (withholding access to money or ability to earn).

Fort Drum community members can speak with a victim advocate by calling (315) 772-5605 during regular duty hours. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (315) 772-8934.

To report domestic violence at Fort Drum, call the Military Police at (315) 772-5156. The Fort Drum Crisis Hotline can connect community members with a trained professional victim advocate, 24/7, at (315) 955-4321.

Additionally, the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is a free, confidential service available 24/7 by calling 1-800-942-6906 or texting to (844) 997-2121. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available by calling 1-800-799-7233, or live chat with an advocate at

Did you know:

*In fiscal year 2022, there were 15,479 reports of domestic abuse in the military.

*Domestic violence impacts more than 80,000 New Yorkers each year.

*One in three women and an average of one in four men report having experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and how to get involved, visit

Date Taken: 10.23.2023
Date Posted: 10.23.2023 08:10
Story ID: 456294
Location: FORT DRUM, NY, US

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