Is that you Jane Wayne? Marine spouses experience Marine life for a day

3 Jul 2009 | Lance Cpl. Alexandra Harris

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron spouses, dressed in their Marine’s digital utility uniform to experience a day as a “warrior” during Jane Wayne Day here June 26.

The event marked the first time the squadron held the event designed to take spouses through one day in their service member’s boots.                

“I think that if the spouses know what their service members go through on a daily basis, they’ll have a better appreciation for what they do,” said Maria Lengerke, the family readiness officer.

The event started with a “yellow footprint” experience to give the military spouses a taste of what their loved ones underwent during their first day of recruit training. During the experience, former drill instructors taught basic drill and ceremony and marching movements. Like recruit training, the spouses answered the drill instructors with an echoing “Aye aye, sir!”

“I think it’s a good thing for Marine Corps wives to get the feeling of our environment and what we do everyday,” said Sgt. Brandon Rogers, a network administration clerk whose wife, Cristi, participated in the event.

Once the spouses had a share of their “boot camp” experience, they moved to the indoor simulated marksmanship trainer where they practiced firing service rifles, machine guns and pistols. They received a class on how to properly aim, load and shoot weapons.

At the ISMT, spouses went through several simulated scenarios on a video screen where they rushed beaches and shot enemy troops.

Following the ISMT, the spouses gathered at the flight line where the Aircraft Rescue Firefighters demonstrated how to extinguish burning aircraft.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, ARFF Marines assisted the spouses in trying on some of the protective gear used by the unit and allowed several of them to shoot water out of the ground hoses and from the top of an P-19 fire truck.

The K-9 unit from the station Provost Marshals Office treated the spouses to a demonstration of the military working dogs and their handlers. The wives also toured of the air traffic control tower, watched Marines operate an ordnance robot at the station Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, and ate lunch at the Gonzalez Mess Hall.

“It was so much fun,” said Susan Bow, wife of Sgt. Maj. Gary Bow, the H&HS sergeant major. “I think it’s important to live a day of your Marine’s job.”

With the first Jane Wayne Day complete, the squadron hopes to make the spouse-oriented event an annual affair with more and more participation, explained Lengerke.