CAMP LEJEUNE. N.C. - The sounds of conversation and laughter filled the room as spouses of 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group sat around a table, drinking wine and learning about each other.
Nine wives from the battalion gathered for an evening of wine tasting hosted by the unit’s family readiness officer at the Stone Street Community Center here, April 30.
“As soon as I came in, I was welcomed,” said Laura B. Briggs, a Fairfax, Va., native and wife of Cpl. David C. Briggs, a bulk fuel specialist with 8th ESB. “[The wives are] all very down to earth and they have a positive outlook on their lifestyle. We all enjoyed talking about each wine and sharing our experiences.”
The women tried a variety of wine, which included red, white and rose wines. They also learned different ways of distinguishing the different types and flavors.
“I didn’t know a lot about wine,” said Jaime Collins, a Chattanooga, Tn., native and family readiness volunteer, who organized the event. “When I was researching [wine], I found out how to narrow down the labels and which ones I might like. It wasn’t part of the original plan, but I wanted to share what I learned.”
Collins kicked off the evening with three wines she originally planned to share, but some of the wives brought others from home. The group eventually tried six wines, including a chocolate-flavored dessert wine.
“The wine was great,” said Kelly L. Haden, a San Diego, Calif., native and wife of Sgt. Joseph D. Haden, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 8th ESB. “It was nice to try different wines, [Collins] seemed very knowledgeable about them and it was nice to learn a little and enjoy the evening.”
The battalion’s companies often work with other units, which allows the servicemembers to make new connections, said Collins. Spouses, however, tend to stay within their circles and the family readiness program wants to change that.
“We’ve really been trying to grow out our spouse events,” said Collins. “Instead of it being a company spouse group, we want it to be a battalion spouse group so everyone mingles. [Family events like this] really encourage the spouses to get out of the house and make it less strange to meet new people.”
When the festivities were finished, the ladies’ husbands arrived to drive them home so the evening could continue to be enjoyable and safe.