CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Ribbons of light slipped between cracks in the ceiling boards and cut through the thin haze of gun smoke, silhouetting the unorthodox row of riflemen. A staggered line of uniformed Marines stood behind the shooters. Their spouses and family members grasped their weapons and unleashed another volley upon command.
The torrent of fire was all part of the Jane Wayne Day activities held for the spouses of the Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group here, Sept. 12.
Jane Wayne Day is a chance for spouses to experience a day in the life of their Marines. Though the event’s participants weren’t classic Western folk heroines, the events left more than a few feeling like gunslingers and asking for more ammunition.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” said Ashdale Nnolim, one of the spouses in attendance who took part in the live-fire exercise. “It was exciting, but it was also kind of scary.”
Nnolim, whose husband is a motor vehicle mechanic with the battalion, said she never fired a gun before Jane Wayne Day. Now she has experience with both the M-9 pistol and the M-4 carbine under her belt. She also got a chance to see some of her husband’s daily responsibilities.
CLB-6’s Jane Wayne Day kicked off with a condensed convoy brief. The spouses saw firsthand just how much preparation and attention to detail goes into planning a convoy in a deployed environment.
After the brief, the doors to a mock seven-vehicle convoy were left open for the spouses and families to explore.
“It’s nice for them to be able to interact with the vehicles and be able to see what we are doing so they are not in the dark,” said Cpl. Chris Gregor, a motor vehicle operator with the battalion whose family has already supported him through three deployments. “When we come home tired at night, they’re always wondering what happened at work. Having them come here for this experience is how we show them what we deal with on a daily basis, what our jobs are and what it is like.”
The families examined the various weapons platforms and the inner workings of some of the unit’s vehicles, including the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected – All-Terrain Vehicle and a multi-purpose tractor.
“I don’t know how to put it, but I learned a lot,” said Nnolim. “I actually got to see why he doesn’t always call me. I learned exactly what he does and what it’s actually like. Sometimes you’re home and wondering why they won’t pick up [the phone]. It’s because they are so busy.”
With their shoulders tenderized by the afternoon of shooting, the participants retired to a buffet-style barbeque, where the CLB-6 family finally got a chance to kick back and take in the day’s experiences.
Jane Wayne Day isn’t just about showing families what a day in the life of a Marine is like. It is also about saying thanks to the spouses and family members who form the backbone of a Marine’s support system.