View Full Version : Wives walk mile in husbands' combat boots

11-15-03, 07:06 AM
Wives walk mile in husbands' combat boots
Submitted by: MCB Camp Pendleton
Story Identification Number: 20031114174041
Story by Sgt. Jim Heuston

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Shannon Rose couldn't stop grinning. She walked off the firing line, fresh from unleashing a string of automatic machine-gun fire and a brand-new perspective into her husband's daily grind.

"It was awesome," said Shannon, wife of Pfc. Jereomy Rose. "I wish I had more bullets."

Rose was among more than 100 wives of Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment who joined their Marines on Camp Pendleton for a "Jane Wayne" Day. It's a day designed to bring families together before the Marines, once again, ship out for overseas duty.

The battalion is slated to leave for Okinawa in December. But with announcements of more Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force returning to Iraq, the deployment is bringing concerns about the last time they deployed. The battalion was slated to go to Okinawa when it was diverted for duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"They know when your part of the (Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations) program, you're the first to get called," said Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, the battalion's commanding officer. "I'm sure some of the same fears and things are with them today as they were when they were on deployment (in Iraq)."

Byrne knows deployments are stressful to marriages and wanted to use the Jane Wayne Day to bring families a little closer before the deployment.

"The biggest thing I'm trying to do through our involvement of the wives is to ensure that these Marines remain married," he said.

For many of the new wives, it was their first opportunity to see what their husbands do for a living. For the grunts, that meant lots of rifles and machine guns.

"I think it was cool," Shannon said. "I don't know why he comes home complaining. He comes home and he's tired. I love this."

Rose enjoyed the fact his wife gained a new appreciation for his trade, but doubts she wants to take up the job herself.

"I think it's good for her to get a chance to shoot 'em," Rose said. "Other than that, I don't think she wants the job."

Lance Cpl. Angel Quiles' wife, Juliet, walked away with a different point of view. She rubbed her jaw and laughed as she explained how she forgot to press her cheek against the butt-stock of the rifle to brace against the recoil.

"I'm already tired," Juliet said, pointing out her bumps and scrapes from shooting. "I want a shower, and I haven't even done like an hour of it."

The Quiles were married just three weeks before the Jane Wayne Day. Still, separation and worry are already part of their relationship.

"This is the second time I'm leaving her," Quiles said.

Juliet said she's happy this time her husband is headed to Okinawa.

"It's better than Iraq," Juliet said. "It's way better. I'd rather see him over there than in Iraq."

Byrne hopes that by increasing the wives' awareness of what their Marines do during the day, he can bring them closer together.

"We raise their level of understanding for when he comes home exhausted during the day," Byrne said. "These wives were scared to death that their husbands were in danger when they were over with the battalion. The battalion saw some hellacious fighting while it was in Iraq. By trying to bring them closer together, we're trying to ease their fears as we get ready to go."

For her part, Shannon realized before the day was out why her Marine is so tired at the end of the day. A run through the obstacle course cured her of any doubts.

"No, I don't want his job anymore," Shannon said. "It was fun though, I'll tell you that."


Marines help their wives through the obstacle course on San Mateo at Camp Pendleton, Calif. for Jane Wayne Day. The obstacle course was one of the day's bonding experiences, as Marines and their wives negotiated the course together. Photo by: Sgt. Jim Heuston




11-16-03, 10:35 AM
Marine spouses get tough on Jayne Wayne Day at Rota

By Scott Schonauer, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, November 16, 2003

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — Sandy Crellin understands her husband’s job in the Marine Corps is demanding and difficult sometimes.

But she didn’t truly appreciate what it’s like until she wore the uniform and became a Marine for a day.

She enjoyed shooting a gun on the range, but the bulky camouflage uniforms, she said, had to go.

“I thought these were comfortable,” she said. “But they’re not. Everything about them is not comfortable.”

Crellin put on the cammies as part of what the Corps calls Jayne Wayne Day, an opportunity for spouses to get an up-close look at what their Marine spouse does on a daily basis. Marine Corps Security Force Company Europe held its first on Friday.

About a dozen wives wore uniforms, fired shotguns, rode in the back of Humvees and ate Meals, Ready to Eat for lunch. For some, it was an eye-opening experience and an education in what it is like to be a Marine.

Other military services often have open houses or their own version of bring-your-family-to-work day. But few immerse their spouses in a daylong event that includes lessons on how to clear a building with force and a crash course in martial arts.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., wives reversed roles with their Marine husbands. One of the highlights of the day was the firing range, where the women shot live ammunition. Each spouse fired a 9 mm pistol and a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun.

It was sort of a strange scene. It’s not often that a Marine gives a lesson on the firing range and then kisses his student after a nice round of shooting.

Capt. Geoff Hall, commander of the 1st Platoon, said his wife came up with the idea to bring Jayne Wayne Day to the Rota-based company. She mentioned it to the other wives at a meeting and the company ran with it.

“I think the wives want to do it just so they can understand what the Marines do training-wise,” he said. “I think it’s good also to get the wives out and they can interact among each other with their husbands.”

Plus, it’s not often that a wife can spend the day with her husband and get the opportunity to fire a few rounds on the range.

However, being a Marine for a day was an adjustment for some, and those new to military life got a quick indoctrination. When one spouse threw on a flak jacket, she cringed at the smell.

“That funk is just part of the character,” said Gunnery Sgt. Juan Lizalde, grinning.

A few looked puzzled at what to do when handed an MRE pouch.

“How do I open this?” Sandy Crellin said to her husband, Capt. T.R. Crellin, the company’s executive officer.

Others caught on quickly.

Aneis Hall emerged as a sharpshooter on the range. Her husband joked that she did better than he does.

“Actually, I’m impressed with their accuracy,” Hall said of all the wives.

Sgt. Mark Demski showed the spouses, including his own, how to fire some of the weapons.

“It really surprised me on how much he really knew,” Amanda Demski said. “I’m very proud of him.”

While the wives got to be a Marine for the day, the job switch stopped right there. It didn’t appear that many Marines volunteered to do their wife’s portion of the household chores that day.

The husbands might want to reconsider, or at least be extra nice to their spouse. Wives finished the day armed with a few martial arts pointers. Some were even a little cocky.

“I can take him down with the hand move,” Sandy Crellin said.