US army in battle to cut divorce rate By Tom Leonard in New York (Filed: 31/12/2004) The United States army is sending troops returning from Iraq on 'marriage enrichment' seminars and romantic getaways in an effort to stem a rocketing divorce rate. Reversing the armed forces' traditional no-nonsense attitude to soldiers' private lives, senior commanders are concerned that marital worries are compounding the stress of troops serving in war zones, often leading to domestic violence. Research shows that about 20 per cent of marriages fall apart within two years when one spouse has been sent off to war. Four army wives were murdered at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in 2002, allegedly by their husbands. A variety of army-funded marriage programmes are being made available, including vouchers for romantic getaways in luxury hotels and courses in forgiveness and communication skills. Soldiers who complete a 40-hour course, with lessons on the dangers of alcohol and tobacco and how to recognise post-traumatic stress, are rewarded with a weekend break with their spouses. To make the courses more popular, commanders are being encouraged to give soldiers time off and, where necessary, provide babysitting facilities. At the 101st Airborne Division, 300 couples have attended marriage enrichment courses.