News: 3/4 Marines take wives to the field
Story by Lance Cpl. D. J. Wu
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Third Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, hosted the first Jane Wayne Day event the battalion has ever held Wednesday.
Because of the multiple deployments the battalion has been involved with during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, 3/4’s leadership decided to host the event to provide the spouses an inside look at a day in the life of their Marines.
“To my memory we haven't had a Jane Wayne Day,” said Heidi Harting, Family Readiness Officer, 3/4. “The battalion deploys so often, we have a hard time fitting it in with their training schedule.”
During the event, the spouses got a chance to spend some time in the field with their husbands and with the rest of the "Darkside" family.
“I'm a little nervous,” said Alice Martinez, wife of Pfc. Fernando Martinez, administrative clerk, Headquarters and Services Company, 3/4. “There's all this equipment and gear around. There are these big trucks and I don't even know where we're going.”
“I told my wife to expect anything and everything that the Marine Corps has to offer,” Fernando said.
They started the day with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal demonstration. A unit with 3/4 was at Range 800 conducting counter-improvised explosive device training. The Marines there showed the equipment and techniques used in IED detection.
“We wanted to just take a breath and sit back and let the spouses see a small snapshot of what our Marines go through every day,” Harting said. “Just getting into the back of a 7-ton (truck) is an eye opener for a spouse.”
Then they moved to Range 101 for the rest of the day. There they got to experience a pre-packaged military ration. With help from their husbands they navigated their way around the meal. Their husband showed them the best ways to prepare the meal and creative tricks they use to make it taste better.
When they arrived at Range 101, the spouses learned about Marine Corps vehicles and weapons. The arsenal ranged from M1A1 Abrams Tanks and Light Armored Vehicle-25 to M2 .50-caliber machine guns and an M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon. The Marines showed their spouses the weapons systems they use when they are in the field and deployed overseas.
The highlight of the day was the shooting event, where the spouses got to shoot M16 A4 rifles and M4 A1 rifles on the range.
“It was intimidating but it was fun,” Martinez said. “I have more appreciation for my husband and his job after this. I think that every spouse that has the opportunity do to this in the future should definitely do it.”
The day was full of information for the spouses. Because of the frequent deployments and field operations the "Darkside" Marines participate in, it was refreshing for the Marines to take their families to work with them.
“We take the Marines away from their families, spouses and significant others, a lot to do training and deployments,” said Maj. Michael Cable, battalion executive officer. “We wanted to give them a demonstration of what their husbands are out doing.”