MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
A group of 18 military spouses got a small taste of Marine Corps life May 13 when they participated in Jane Wayne Day here.
The day-long experience for the all female group saw them shooting two types of weapons, seeing and participating in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, participating in the Combat Fitness Test and eating meals, ready to eat.
Donned in hand-me-down camouflage jackets, and some wearing boots, the wives started their day with a tour of Maintenance Center Albany.
On the tour, they saw the same vehicles being fitted with protective armor that later on could protect their husbands in hostile surroundings.
After an easy start to the day at MCA, the group then proceeded to learn what it is like to be a Marine and got a taste of what their spouse would experience throughout a year as a Marine.
From weapons training to physical fitness, the wives got a brief glimpse into their husband’s life outside of the home.
For spouse April Green, participating in Jane Wayne Day was something she looked forward to for quite some time.
“My husband served two tours in Iraq, so I figured this is the closest I will get to understand what he goes through,” she said.
The first training stop of the day was a simulation of the indoctrination process that every Marine must face. As the tour bus pulled up to the Base Officers’ Club the group appeared nervous.
They could see the universally-feared drill instructor covers from a distance.
Every Marine recruit must stand on the yellow footprints to enter recruit training and the group of spouses got a small taste of that experience.
After being yelled at by drill instructors and learning a few Marine Corps drill procedures, they put on flak jackets and helmets for a trip via Humvee to their first training destination.
The first stop for Cecilia Hammer’s group was the Bosma Skeet Range and Recreational Pistol Range.
After a few clips with the 9mm Baretta 92FS, Hammer tried the Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun for the first time.
“That had some kick,” said Hammer who weighs only 80 pounds and needed help holding up the military shotgun while firing off three shells of double 00 buckshot at the torso-shaped target.
Throughout the day the training continued, and each group rotated training activities round-robin style.
Some groups practiced their choking techniques in the MCMAP training gym while others practiced the fireman’s carry in the blazing sun during the CFT.
Some spouses opted out of the most rigorous parts of the training while others tried every challenge.
Spouse Chelsea Hodges studied each event with the attitude of learning more about what her husband does as a Marine.
“I hope to take more of a personal knowledge of what he goes through when he’s deployed,” she said. “I’m one of those women that gets involved with my husband’s career.”
Teaching spouses about the rigors of Marine life is exactly what this training was intended to do, and base officials want to make this an annual event for military spouses.
“The event enhanced the relationship of some of the couples. Every participant I spoke to raved about the day and every aspect of it,” said Richard L. Walker, family readiness officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “I feel it really brought some of them closer and gave them a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes on the ‘green side’ of events at MCLB.”