MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s family readiness program hosted their 4th Annual ‘Wolfpack’ Spouses Mixer at the Twentynine Palms Inn, March 19, 2015.
“It’s great to see that the spouses are here,” said Sgt. Maj. Edward Zapata, sergeant major, 3rd LAR. “They’re taking an interest in the battalion and wanting to be a part of the battalion’s family readiness. They have an opportunity to decompress and have fun.”
Each year, the mixer is assigned a different theme and this year’s theme was the Mad Hatter. The spouses had the opportunity to showcase their personalities through their vibrant hats. The event was held in an effort to foster a strong sense of community amongst the spouses and remind them that they are always part of the ‘Wolfpack’ family.
“When Marines walk into their unit, they immediately have that network of support. But that’s not necessarily the case with spouses,” said Jillian King, family readiness officer, 3rd LAR. “Events like this give the spouses the opportunity to cut loose and gain more confidence so that they feel comfortable reaching out to each other.”
At the event, food was served, prizes were given away, and a guest speaker with Families Over Coming Under Stress addressed the attendees. The guest speaker coordinated an activity for the spouses to get better acquainted with one another. Each woman was given a list of various hobbies and challenged to find a person who found interest in that activity. The game provided the spouses with a chance to learn more about each another.
“When you bring the wives in, you make them feel like part of the family,” Zapata said. “The wives [whom] have been in this battalion a while can start communicating with the new ones. When they know that they can communicate with each other, they don’t have to feel alone.”