News: 3-509th hosts Arctic G.I. Jane Day
Story by Sgt. Eric-James Estrada
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON — More than 40 wives put on their soldiers’ Army winter gear for the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment’s Arctic G.I. Jane Day here, Nov. 8.
The day gave spouses a chance to experience some of what their paratroopers do on a daily basis and have some fun.
“I think that it’s a great way to come out, especially for all the wives to get together,” said Jennifer Lindsay, whose husband serves as the battalion’s operations officer. “We do the challenges, especially in the arctic cold. We go out and shoot, jump - things that we normally wouldn’t be able to do, and for all of us ladies, we come together and do it as a team.”
The day’s early events included a Humvee push, a grenade range and a trip to the shooting range to fire the M-4 assault rifle and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
There was some heavy lifting involved between ranges. The spouses trudged across 350 meters with Ahkio sleds full of military equipment and participated in the medical evacuation of a wounded soldier through the woods.
The day culminated with a tethered leap from the Airborne Sustainment Training Area’s 34-foot jump tower.
In addition to familiarizing spouses with their soldiers training and skills, the event was the first social meet and greet for all spouses and husbands since the battalion’s return with the rest of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division’s 10-month deployment to Afghanistan.
“I got to meet a bunch of ladies that I didn’t know,” said Hannah Hines, whose husband is in Able Company, 3-509th. “Even though they’ve been in our company the whole deployment, it was really helpful and it was really fun,” Hines said.
“Everyone has a good time with it,” 2nd Lt. Devan Zimmerman, operations officer for the 3-509th said. “The Soldiers definitely have fun seeing their spouses go through the lane and experience the normal trudging through the snow and that kind of thing,” said Zimmerman.
The overall theme of Arctic G. I. Jane Day, according to the event’s organizers, was for the spouses to experience some of the cold weather exercises their Soldiers conduct in the Last Frontier.
“Most people know what their husband does from day to day. I didn’t know,” Hines said. “He’s in the Army and that’s pretty much all that I got, but I got to do some of the things that he does on a day to day basis, which is pretty cool.”