MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Three, 7-ton trucks filled with Marine and sailor wives rumbled down the dusty road to Prospect Training Area for “Jayne Wayne Day” Oct. 12.
Jayne Wayne Day was introduced to give wives an idea of what their husbands’ jobs consist of.
The wives of 1st Tank Battalion met at the Tank Ramp where they were equipped with Kevlar helmets and flack jackets without Small Arms Protective Inserts in them. The wives were dressed in a mix of hot-weather civilian clothes and their husbands’ military issued utilities.
Lt. Col. Jim Stopa, the battalion commander, 1st Tanks, said this is the first Jayne Wayne Day he has seen in almost 10 years. “This will help increase the number of key volunteers we have,” said Stopa. “It also lets the ladies appreciate what their husbands do every day.”
Before the day began, the wives were thoroughly briefed on safety precautions, such as “three points of contact” when loading the 7-ton trucks. Despite the dusty ride to the training area, wives said they were excited to see what their husbands did.
“I came here to have fun and get more appreciation for my husband,” said Marisol MacCheyne, wife of Gunnery Sgt. Kevin L. MacCheyne, Company D. “Plus, now I can say that I can do the same things he can.”
Cpl. Johnathan D. Loomis, Company H, had the same idea. “This gives them a chance to really see what we do,” said Loomis. “And they enjoy themselves.”
Lt. Rob Wills, chaplain, said he overheard many wives commenting on how much more they value their husbands’ work. “I heard a bunch of them saying things like ‘Man, it’s so dusty out here!’ on the way out,” said Wills. “That’s good to go.”
The wives were divided into four squads so they could rotate through each station. The stations were: the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical station, the Humvee and tube-launched optically-tracked wire command linked guided missile station, the M1A1 tank station, the amphibious assault vehicle station, and the static weapons station.
At the NBC station, the wives learned how to properly wear a Mission-Oriented Protective Posture suit, a gas mask and how to tell if the gear is functional. Cpl. Tim Sparks, an NBC specialist with the battalion, gave a brief on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents used today and also talked about the affects agents have on the human body.
In the following stations, the wives took rides on military vehicles, including standing in the A-gunner position on the tanks while wearing the communication helmets.
In the static weapons station, the wives got behind a rifle and three machine guns: a .50-caliber machine gun, an M-240G medium machine gun, an M-249 squad-automatic weapon, and an M-16A2 service rifle.
For lunch, the wives enjoyed authentic meals-read-to-eat as they sat in the shade of a camouflage canopy. They learned how to use a heating packet and traded food among themselves, just like their husbands do in the field.
At the end of the day, the wives arrived at the tank ramp dusty, sweaty and smiling.