Cmdr. Springle’s dream lives on through Springle Building

11 May 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

Cmdr. Charles “Keith” Springle passed away more than a year ago, but his legacy still lives on. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune dedicated the Commander Charles K. Springle Training Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in honor of the late licensed clinical social worker.

“He was someone who had a deep sense of commitment and a passion for helping people out, especially those who have served in combat,” said Pamela Alberti, the counseling service branch head with Marine and Family Services Division.

Springle’s time in the military was dedicated to helping fellow service members cope with the stresses of military life. Now the building that bears his name is being used for the same reason.

“It was his dream to have a training center here, something dedicated to the needs of active duty and family members’ overall emotional health and wellness,” said Sarah Wiltgen, deputy director for Marine and Family Services Division.

The training center was built to fulfill his dream of providing a comfortable and safe environment where service members and civilians could talk about their personal issues.

They can seek counseling for issues such as anger, stress, suicide prevention, sexual assault, combat stress and domestic issues.

The facility also has two licensed military family life consultants. The consultants assist service members and their families who have trouble coping with some of life’s challenges, but do not require full psychiatric care.

“They are willing to meet up anywhere except homes or barracks,” said Wiltgen. “Another plus is confidentiality: there are no formal records kept of people coming to use their services.”

However, if they realize that the service member or civilian reveals something that is criminal or potentially harmful the consultants are obligated to refer the person to an appropriate source.

Personnel at the training center said they wanted to create a relaxing comfortable ambience in the clinic, not one that felt impersonal and institutionalized.

“A more comfortable environment eases the stigma associated with mental health,” said Wiltgen.

Since the facility opened last December more than 700 service members, family members and Department of Defense civilians have used its resources.

What had once started off as a simple idea has blossomed into a reality. Service members, their families and DoD civilians can walk into Commander Charles K. Springle Training Center and receive the guidance and counseling they need. The work of one man has been carried on even after death and continues to help countless others battle their mental demons.

For more information about services offered at the Charles K. Springle Training Center contact 451-2864