CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Family members of all ages came out to participate in a mock day in the life of their Marine counter-parts during 2nd Supply Battalion’s second annual Jane Wayne Day aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 21, 2010.
Jane Wayne Day allows wives and relatives to participate in various training activities, such as Marine Corps Martial Arts and weapons firing that their Marines conduct on a daily basis. It also gives them a chance to spend an entire day with their Marines, an opportunity that is rarely afforded given the rigorous training and work schedule most Marines have.
“The Jane Wayne Day event is one of the favorite activities held by the family readiness office throughout the year,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Dennis Bruner, the family readiness officer for the unit.
One of the reasons such events are enjoyed by all participants, is because it is an event in which you can “pick and choose which event or part of the event you want to do,” added Bruner. “[They also foster] a no RSVP, no roster, come one, come all policy.”
Family members who may hesitate to try unfamiliar Marine activities feel more comfortable coming to such a relaxed, open environment.
“I was nervous coming here, but now that I’m here and I’ve seen what it’s all about, I’m excited,” said Courtney, wife of Lance Cpl. Antonio Colmenares, an ammunition technician with 2nd Supply Bn.
“I don’t really know anything about the military, so seeing how he trains and how his job operates is exciting. Everything is new to me,” she added.
Jane Wayne Day is not just a day geared towards Marine wives as family members including children and mothers of Marines also attended.
Marine mom, Lynda Hall, traveled all the way from Alabama to attend what her daughter originally told her was a ‘family day.’
“I was tricked into coming,” Hall said jokingly. ”I didn’t know I’d be participating in this. Now that I know what we will be doing, I’m excited and most looking forward to shooting the guns.”
Firing weapons is just one aspect of the event. The day began with a short safety brief covering the entire day’s activities. Then the group moved to the Basic Skills Training School, where they received a condensed class on the various weapons they would be firing in the indoor simulated marksmanship trainer (ISMT) and on the live range.
The group then headed outdoors for demonstrations on basic Marine Corps Martial Arts Program techniques, after which they were able to practice strikes and throws on the instructors, each other, and their loved ones.
Following their MCMAP training, the wives and family members learned about and conducted parts of the Marine Corps’ new combat fitness test.
They then moved on to the range where they had the opportunity to fire the M-16A4 service rifle.
After the gun smoke settled, the participants enjoyed a lunch of Meals-Ready-to-Eat followed by a short hike back to the BSTS where they conducted the Endurance Course.
The wives and family members tend to enjoy the endurance course the most, said Bruner, even if it isn’t what they originally look forward to the most.
Since the early 1970s, Jane Wayne Day has been focused on bringing families of Marines together, allowing wives and other relatives to get a taste of what their loved ones do on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s about camaraderie of family,” concluded Bruner.