News: Wives fly, shoot, fight like Marines to learn about Marines
Story by Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Flying, shooting and Marine Corps Martial Arts are among some the many things spouses hear about when their Marines come home each night but, twice a year they get to experience the excitement for themselves.
The spouses of Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 16 took part in Jane Wayne Day aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., April 13.
Spouses were given Jane Wayne Day t-shirts and bandanas, and split into three platoons to learn drill movements, experience drill instructors and learn basic skills Marines are required to know.
“In order to know your spouse, you have to know what they do at work,” said Vina Combellick, wife of a pilot with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462. “It’s important to know how hard they work and what they have to do day in and day out.”
The spouses shot simulated M-16A4 service rifles and M9 service pistols at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. They also flew MV-22B Osprey simulators with the aid of a pilot.
Volunteers from other squadrons and their Family readiness officers were key in making the event run smoothly. Some of the more daring participants suited up in a bite-proof suit to be apprehended by a working dog during a dog demonstration. This was a first for Jane Wayne Day events. Wives also learned basic self-defense techniques from Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
“It went great,” said Kelli Richardson, the FRO with MAG-16. “We had some great wives came out. They got to experience many different things that their husbands do every day.”
Marine platoon sergeants, drill instructors and MCMAP instructors explained what it means to be a Marine, using stories of Medal of Honor recipients and boot camp experiences.
Marines work hard and look out for one another because of the pride they carry, explained Combellick.
It is not always easy to be a wife of a Marine. Jane Wayne Day may help spouses appreciate and understand what their husbands do while giving them an opportunity to get out of the house and have fun, explained Richardson.