News: MAG-11 families experience day in Marines boots
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – A senior drill instructor takes his place in front of a formation, but it is not a formation of recruits he stands in front of, it is the spouses and family members of the Marine Aircraft Group 11 at the annual Jane Wayne Day, July 14.
MAG-11 held its annual Jane Wayne Day for spouses and family members to experience a day as a Marine and learn what Marines do on a daily basis.
“The goal of the event is for spouses to understand what Marines go through not only for training but on deployments as well,” said Katrina Langley, the family readiness officer with MAG-11.
Throughout the day, the families experienced infamous Marine Corps drill instructors, learned basic drill, shot M16A4 rifles and rode in KC-130 and F/A-18 simulators.
“My favorite part was watching everyone’s [experience with] the drill instructors,” said Sgt. Milton Gamez, a bulk fuel specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 and New York native.
This was the first time Gamez and his wife attended the MAG-11 Jane Wayne Day and agrees that family members should attend events like this one.
“I think it is important we have events like this because it brings the spouses together and makes their bond tighter,” said Gamez. “They can understand what their husband’s do and she understands why I have to be gone on deployments.”
Janie Gamez, Gamez’ wife and Fallbrook, Calif., native, was very excited to attend this event because her husband has been deployed three times in his nine year career in the Marine Corps.
“My favorite part was getting to shoot the rifles at the range,” said Janie. “It’s good for the family members to see and feel what the guys have to go through for training because you see things like the drill instructors on TV but it’s a whole different story when it is happening to you in real life.”
Even though it was a learning experience, all the spouses and family members had a good time spending a day on the job with the Marines of MAG-11.
“I really hope I am stationed here next year because we would definitely love to attend again,” said Gamez.
At the end of the day, families stand in a formation smiling as they receive their certificates of achievement and a dog tag that reads “I survived.”