3rd MLG spouses spend day in combat boots
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Standing in formation, covered and aligned, spouses of Marines and sailors listened intently to the opening remarks of the 4th annual Spouses Warrior Day Sept. 27 at Camp Hansen. Following the remarks and the issuing of orders, the spouses were dismissed to carry out the plan of the day.
However, this day was filled with typical training events that Marines and sailors throughout the Marine Corps would complete on a routine basis.
“This experience has been amazing so far,” said Kimberly Reid, the wife of Lt. j.g. Kevin Reid, a Military Sealift Command plans, operations and medical intelligence officer with 3rd Medical Battalion. “After going through these events, I understand why (my husband) comes home exhausted. I was tired after the first one.”
The day included a combat fitness test with modified movement to contact and maneuver-under-fire portions, along with full 30-pound ammunition can lifts. Practicing Marine Corps martial arts program techniques along with training in the Humvee egress assistance trainer and combat convoy simulator were also highlights of the day.
“This event was designed to bring the spouses out to experience a day in their Marine’s or sailor’s boots,” said Kara Walton, the family readiness officer with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We wanted to have fun events like MCMAP and the HEAT, but we also wanted something challenging like the CFT.”
Family readiness officers of various units in the 3rd MLG, including 9th ESB, 3rd Medical Bn. and Combat Logistics Regiments 3, 35 and 37, came together to organize the event to give spouses of service members a better understanding of the Marine Corps and unique challenges faced by Marines and sailors with III MEF.
“Because we have all of these different units out here, we wanted to encourage inter-unit cohesion,” said Walton. “This event allows spouses living on different camps and from different units to get to know each other and bring the 3rd MLG closer together.”
The spouses worked hard throughout the morning, and for lunch they were served a staple of any deployment or exercise — a Meal, Ready-to-Eat.
During the MRE lunch, the spouses observed a demonstration by the 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion’s K-9 Unit on the dogs’ ability to subdue and apprehend a suspect via simple commands.
The 3rd Explosives Ordnance Disposal Company was also on hand to allow spouses a chance to operate some of its equipment and try on an EOD bomb suit.
“Seeing my wife out here doing things I do really made me happy,” said Lance Cpl. Carlos E. Caldera, a field wireman for CLR-3. “She told me she doesn’t know how I do this every day and still walk.”
The event closed with short remarks from Col. Edward W. Bligh, commanding officer of CLR-3, thanking the spouses for their support of the Marines, sailors and the unit.
Each participant received a certificate of completion and a specially made dog tag to commemorate the sweat, hard work and increased understanding achieved by all the spouses.