MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Decked out in utilities and physical training gear, spouses of Marines and sailors were given a chance to experience a day in their husband’s shoes during the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Jane Wayne Day here Saturday.
Jane Wayne days are used throughout the armed services to give spouses a chance to experience what their husbands or wives go through during training and on a daily basis.
“I think today just shows us what our husbands really go through and that it’s not as easy as it looks,” said Jaime Campbell, Jane Wayne Day participant.
Approximately 25 wives formed into two squads and stood outside Building 1 as they awaited their “mini boot camp.”
Out came a staff sergeant in a campaign cover, or “smokey bear,” with a frog-like voice.
While he yelled at the “recruits” and made them run up and down the parade deck a few times, he gave them a small piece of what their husbands went through during recruit training.
“I don’t think I would have ever made it though boot camp,” said Shannon Legette, Jane Wayne participant. “I would have laughed way too much, and I think they would’ve kicked me out.”
After their small introduction to the military lifestyle, spouses piled onto a bus to conquer their first event.
The Jane Wayne Day consisted of a trip to the Indoor Small-Arms Range where they were given the chance to shoot off a few rounds from M16A2 service rifles and M9 pistols, a visit to an F/A-18 flight simulator, a lesson in eating Meals Ready to Eat, a modified combat fitness test, pugil sticks, and a demonstration from the Provost Marshal’s Office and their military working dogs.
Many of the participants were concerned as they went into the day’s events, but eventually as they took on the role of their husbands for the day, they threw out their nervous thoughts.
“I’m not looking forward to the CFT at all or any physical activity for that matter,” said Jennifer Bradford, Jane Wayne Day participant.
The first squad received their weapons safety brief and entered the range to shoot off a few rounds, while second squad went through the flight simulator.
The two groups then swapped activities.
“These ladies are amazing,” said Lance Cpl. Luis Zabala, Jane Wayne Day volunteer. “They’ve actually been the best group that I’ve seen shooting so far.”
After a morning of Marine Corps filled events, the spouses broke for chow.
Spouses opened their MREs with looks of disgust, not knowing how or what to eat out of the pre-packaged meals.
After a small lesson from Zabala, spouses started to get the hang of it.
Soon, spouses were inventing their own concoctions, trading M&Ms for Skittles, adding jalapeno cheese to chili macaroni and making peanut butter and jelly tortillas.
With full stomachs, Jane Wayne Day participants hopped back onto the bus, were taught cadence, and were dropped off at the Logistics field for their modified CFT and chance to beat each other up with pugil sticks.
As they made their way through the course, other participants helped by cheering each other on while they struggled with low crawls and ammunition cans.
Many of the spouses said that the day’s events gave them a much better understanding of what their husbands do on a regular basis.
Legette said she recommends that spouses consider experiencing a Jane Wayne Day at least once to get a feel for what their husbands undergo.
Throughout the day, the group grew closer by working together, getting to know one another, and experiencing what their Marines and sailors go through each day.
Overall, the spouses were given an educational and rewarding experience in military operation life.