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Cpl. Francisco Guzman, a tank commander with Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, retrieves his Kevlar helmet from Jessica Plummer, the wife of Lance Cpl. Chad Plummer, a crewman with Co. B, after a ride in an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank during the battalion's "Jane Wayne Day" at Combat Center Range 500 March 30. The ladies also had the opportunity to fire weapons and climb aboard various tactical vehicles.

Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle

Wives roll to Range 500 for “Jane Wayne Day”

1 Apr 2010 | Cpl. R. Logan Kyle

Marine wives do not always get the chance to experience firsthand what their husbands actually do in the Corps, but the wives of Marines with 1st Tank Battalion strapped on some boots and headed to the field during a “Jane Wayne Day” at Combat Center Range 500 March 30.

            Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Cleveland, the executive officer of Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tanks, said this was the first time the battalion held the event on a Combat Center range.

            “We hold this event so the spouses can see what their husbands do on a daily basis and also to build camaraderie within the battalion,” said the Albany, La., native. “We hold these once or twice a year, but it’s normally held at the battalion’s ramp.”

            The wives were treated to humvee, tank and amphibious assault vehicle rides and were given the chance to fire the M16-A4 service rifle. Static displays of other weapons systems and vehicles like the M240-G medium machine gun and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle were also set up.

            Candace Gordon, the wife of Lt. Col. Thomas J. Gordon, the battalion’s commanding officer, said this was the first “Jane Wayne Day” she has participated in for a long time.

            “It’s all fun,” said Gordon, a Spartanburg, S.C., native. “I just don’t like getting dirty.”

            For some of the wives the day made it a little harder to cope with their husbands’ current deployment to Afghanistan.

            “I’ve never really experienced anything my husband does,” said Heather Taylor, the wife of Cpl. Luke Taylor, a communications technician with Co. C, 1st Tanks, and a Federal Way, Wash., native. “I loved coming out here and seeing what my husband really does, but it’s just really tough trying not to worry about him.”

            Before heading back to the Combat Center’s mainside area, the ladies were treated to a live-fire demonstration by Marines with H and S Co., who fired the main gun of the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and two Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missiles from the battalion’s TOW platoon.

            The companies within 1st Tanks are slated to deploy to Eastern Europe next month, as well as to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom later this year.

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