News: Spouses get new look into Marine Corps life
Story by Pfc. David Walters
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Corps spouses and children participated in a Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Jane Wayne Day here June 1, 2013.
Participants took part in various Marine Corps training exercises that tested different aspects of their mental and physical strength, such as live firing, gas chamber, Aircraft rescue firefighting demonstration, K-9 demonstration, Combat Fitness Test, Pugil-Stick competition and a formation run with cadence.
Katherine A. West, H&HS Family Readiness Officer and coordinator of Jane Wayne Day, said she enjoys giving spouses the opportunity of participating in activities and experiencing what their Marines go through or have been through in the past.
“I think it’s important so that way they have a better understanding about what their spouse does,” said West. “It’s a really good learning experience.”
Live firing consisted of shooting the M240B medium machine gun, M249 light machine gun and M4 semiautomatic rifle after receiving the proper training at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Training facility.
Anita S. Clayton, Jane Wayne Day participant, compared shooting rifles to the feeling of being able to conquer the world.
“It was awesome,” said Clayton. “I would have to get really level headed to shoot one of those.”
Participants suited up in full Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, and into the gas chamber they went.
Participants were exposed to 0-Chlorobenzalmalononitrile gas (CS gas) and had to break the seal of their gas mask.
With coughs, running noses and watery eyes, the participants pushed on to their next event to test their physical ability and see how far they could push their limits.
A modified CFT tested their ability to perform ammo can lifts, and run the combat endurance course, minus the buddy drag.
“I love physical activity,” said Clayton. “But that pushed me over the limit and that was only half of what Marines do.”
Then it came down to the Pugil-Stick competition where participants showed off their warrior ability to attack one another with different strikes and movements.
“That’s a lot of aggression you can take out on somebody,” said Clayton. “It was very empowering.”
At the end of the participants’ "Day in the life of a Marine" experience, a few were presented awards for their outstanding performance in certain training exercises.
Clayton won The Hard Charger for her outstanding motivation throughout her participation.
Josh Hess and Jillian M. McKelvey both won The Top Shooter award for their Marine like marksmanship. The Bruiser award went to Kristyn M. Petitto for being the champion in the Pugil-Stick competition.
Throughout the day’s taxing training exercises, it didn’t matter whether participant's left with rashes, cuts, bruises, or an increased motivational look into the Marine Corps, Jane Wayne Day was a success at showing military family members what it feels like to slip in to their Marines' boots.