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Tanya Cooper, the wife of Lance Cpl. Jacob Cooper, fires off rounds from the M4 service carbine April 9 during 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s Jane Wayne Day at Combat Center Range 500. The spouses had the opportunity to use the weapons systems their husbands use in both training and combat.

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

‘Wolf Pack’ wives step into husbands’ boots

14 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion took their wives out to Combat Center Range 500 April 9 for the battalion’s Jane Wayne Day to help promote a stronger bond between families in the unit.

The ladies were entertained with a day of education about their Marines’ jobs during which they learned about main weapons systems and enjoyed rides on tactical vehicles, said 1st Lt. William Dalton, an infantry officer with the battalion’s Headquarters and Service Company, and a native of South Hadley, Mass.

“It gives the wives a great chance to experience what their husbands do,” Dalton said. “We’ve got live-fire with the M4 carbine, M9 service pistol, M249 machine gun, as well as throwing blue-body grenades.

“They also get to enjoy a ride on ,” he said. “They get to see weapons demonstrations of all our basic weapons systems, as well as a static display of several variations of LAVs.”

The battalion’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ken Kassner, said the support of the Marines’ families is one of the most important aspects in maintaining the unit’s strength.

“We enjoy doing this as often as possible in order to demonstrate our war fighting capabilities to our spouses,” said the Coupland, Texas, native. “But, most importantly, to show the brides of the Wolf Pack that they are integral members of our team.”

Kassner described how the battalion prepared for the event.

“We look at our training schedule and place it in a spot that would integrate it smoothly,” he said. “We organize it so we can expose them to as much as possible, and invite the brides of the Wolf Pack to the event so their husbands can play Mr. Mom while their wives are out here.”

Kassner said the fellowship shared between the Marines’ families is the event’s most valuable take away.

“Camaraderie is the most important aspect of the event,” he said. “Our ladies are able to socialize with one another and engage in fellowship with one another, and it builds a stronger Wolf Pack team for all of us.”

Tanya Cooper, wife of Lance Cpl. Jacob Cooper, a rifleman with Company E, from Omaha, Neb., talked about how much she enjoyed her initial experience.

“It’s pretty awesome, even though it’s my first time doing a Jane Wayne Day,” she said. “This is really something interesting that I might never get to experience again.”

Cooper did enjoy one aspect of the day in particular.

“Everything we did today was really interesting,” she said. “Shooting the guns, though, was my favorite part.”

Jane Wayne Day is not an annual event, but the battalion is planning to host more family-orientated events before the unit’s upcoming deployment this fall.

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