G.I. 'Jane Wayne': Spouses get taste of Marine Corps
Submitted by: MCAGCC
Story Identification #: 2004813162733
Story by Cpl. Itzak Lefler

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2004) -- Instead of spending the morning working on daily routines at home, spouses of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marines decided to take the day off-to shoot rounds down range, kick, punch, study the enemy and change a tire that is. These spouses had their day to play Marine at 3rd LAR's Jane Wayne Day Aug. 6.

These "Jane Waynes" had the whole morning to listen to an intelligence brief, receive a class on auto maintenance, shoot a selection of weapons, and get a taste of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.

"The ultimate goal of today was to give the wives experience, knowledge and a view of what their husbands do-in an easy and subtle way," said Staff Sgt. Douglas Wilbert, unit family readiness officer.

Sporting their husband's camouflage utilities, four groups rotated round-robin style through four different stations at the rifle range.

While husbands normally play a significant part in automotive maintenance, spouses need to know basic maintenance as well: changing a tire, checking air pressure or knowing what is hiding underneath the hood.

Lance Cpl. Christopher Rice, and Cpl. Justin Jones, motor transport mechanics, Headquarters and Service Company, led the class that focused on emergency procedures.

Monica, wife of Lance Cpl. Mario Tobias, light armored vehicle driver, had her fair share of the auto maintenance class, demonstrating to the ladies an easy way to change a tire without using much strength.

"Today was really helpful, especially the basic car maintenance," said Merissa, wife of Sgt. Raymond Rios, forward observer, Delta Company.

While spouses have an idea of what Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 is about, Staff Sgt. Bren Derringer, S-2 chief, gave more helpful information. Derringer discussed the cities of Iraq, neighboring allies, the living conditions for their deployed Marines and operational security.

"If there's one thing the spouses could pull from this class is to be very careful of what is said between them and their husbands in Iraq," said Derringer. "Don't ask where he's at or what he's doing. Instead, spouses should talk about the happy stuff and saying things like 'I can't wait to see you when you get home.'"

Many of the spouses said they enjoyed the intelligence class because it was informative.

"The intel class was really helpful," said Jennifer, wife of Sgt. Eric Hickerson, LAV scout. "It's good knowing what areas [the Marines] are in. It's something [the spouses] need to know. Also the culture of the Iraqis was cool, and knowing who likes us there and who doesn't."

Corporal Tim Pitts, martial arts instructor, led spouses in a session of basic warrior stances, elbow striking and how to counter a bear hug during the MCMAP portion of Jane Wayne Day. Pitts showed spouses every-day tools they can use to defend themselves, such as turning car keys into a weapon.

"My husband already tries those martial art moves on me at home, so I knew the moves that were demonstrated at the class," joked Danielle, wife of Cpl. Donald Trigger, LAV mechanic.

The event spouses enjoyed the most, it was the chance to fire live rounds with an M-16 A2 service rifle, an M-9 Barretta pistol, and a favorite to many of the spouses-the M-2 .50 caliber machine gun.

"I wished we could shoot longer; grenades would've been fun to try," laughed Mindy, fiancée of PFC Nick Burpee, Marine Corps Integrated Materiel Management Systems clerk.

"I liked shooting the machine gun-it was the power behind it that was cool," said Lori, wife of Capt. Jason Blume, fire support coordinator. "I also liked the martial arts and riding in the big seven-ton trucks. I see them around all the time and always wanted to ride one."

After a long day under the hot sun, spouses spent the rest of the day at Felix Field enjoying 3rd LAR's family barbecue with their husbands, as it was the last barbecue before the departure of 3rd LAR Marines to the war in Iraq.

"I don't know how you guys do it," said Blume. "The helmet, vest, and pack-I really admire [the Marines] wearing all the stuff you need to wear without passing out ... and still be able to come home and mow the lawn."

Jananya, wife of Lance Cpl. Mathew Harrington, light armed vehicle scout, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, takes aim and shoots rounds down range at 3rd LAR's Jane Wayne Day Aug. 6. Photo by: Cpl. Itzak Lefler