Twentynine Palms -- MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.—The spouses of 1st Tank Battalion participated in a Jane Wayne Spouse Appreciation Day aboard the Combat Center on April 3, 2018.
Gathering as early as 5 a.m., the spouses eagerly awaited to see what was ahead of them. Climbing into seven-ton trucks for a sojourn to Range 500, the group would soon experience the thrill of being inside of a tank, firing an M16A4 service rifle, learning basic medical techniques from an experienced Navy Corpsman and eating Meals Ready to Eat.
“I feel like it’s the first day of school,” said Courtney Wilcox, wife of 2nd Lt. Daniel R. Wilcox, supply officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion. “I couldn’t sleep last night, I was so excited.”
According to 2nd Lt. Justin Shuma, motor transport officer, Alpha Company, 1st Tanks, days such as Jane Wayne build resiliency of spiritual well being and the will to fight by teaching the participants about what their spouses do on a day to day basis. Learning about their spouses’ days encourages a positive environment at home for heightened understanding. Spouse appreciation days are important to the 1st Tanks’ battalion commander because of the morale they provide for their units.
“Marines who have a happy and stable home life will perform better at work,” said Lt. Col. Matt Zummo, battalion commander, Alpha Company, 1st Tanks.
Sgt. Isaac Pompa, scouts, Alpha Company, 1st Tanks, said that not only was it a great way to bond over showing his wife what he did on a daily basis, but a fantastic way for them to make friends with the other families.
By the end of the event, the spouses were glad to have and made friends with one another and be informed on what their Marines do.
“It’s a great experience to have,” said Kareli Soriano, wife of Petty Officer First Class Daniel Paez, corpsman, Battalion Aid Station, 1st Tanks. “I learned a lot today.”