MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Spouses of 1st Tank Battalion participated in this year’s “Jane Wayne Day” at the Combat Center’s Range 500, Oct. 4.
Participants, along with some Marines and sailors, met at the 1st Tanks tank ramp in the morning with flak-jackets and Kevlars, and prepared for the long journey in 7-ton trucks to Range 500.
The ride to the training area was the first event of the day that gave spouses a glimpse at what Marines and sailors experience in training.
“The back of the 7-ton was disgusting,” said April Haldy. “It felt like we were getting rolled around in a bunch of dirt.”
Upon the arrival of the convoy to Range 500, the spouses had the opportunity to shake off some dirt before they received a safety brief.
The participants put in ear protection as they witnessed a live demonstration of the M1A1 Abrams Tank to begin the Jane Wayne Day festivities.
“I can really appreciate my husband’s line of work a lot more now,” said Crystal Williams. “Now I understand why he’s deaf.”
The Marines of 1st Tanks set up static displays of vehicles and weapons, rides on tanks and humvees, and a range that gave the spouses a chance to fire the M-16 rifle.
After a quick range safety brief, the spouses got into the prone firing position and tested their marksmanship skills.
“Firing the gun isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s a really fun experience,” said Alicia Lara.
Although the M-16 rifle attracted many of the spouses, the most popular event of Jane Wayne Day was the tank ride.
“The tank was a lot of fun, but the ride was far from smooth,” said Marisol Maccheyne. “I definitely wouldn’t want to take a family vacation in one.”
In between activities, the spouses had the chance to take a break and enjoy the Meals-Ready-to-Eat the Marines brought for them.
Many of the spouses liked the idea of eating MRE’s, while others just weren’t cut out for the field.
“The meat loaf tastes like dog food, and the mashed potatoes are fake,” said Ashton Reagin. “I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to eat MRE’s.”
1st Lt. Andrew M. Raucci, 1st Tanks Jane Wayne Day officer-in-charge, finished the day’s events with a debriefing at Range 500 before the spouses headed back to mainside.
“The purpose of Jane Wayne Day is to provide our spouses with an appreciation and enhance their understanding of the occupational skills required of 1st Tank Battalion’s Marines and sailors,” said Raucci. “Basically, we got to pull triggers, ride in tanks and have a good time.”
The Marines and sailors of 1st Tanks plan to host another Jane Wayne Day for their spouses in the Spring.