Spouses train as Marines during Jane Wayne day
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA -- The opportunity to wear the uniform of a member of the U.S. military and spend a day in their combat boots is an honor few are blessed with.
However, the spouses of Marine Aircraft Group 36 personnel were given this opportunity during a Jane Wayne day March 22 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
Jane Wayne days offer spouses a chance to take part in Marine Corps training and gain insight into the daily challenges of their active-duty spouses.
“All the ladies and I really enjoyed getting to experience how pilots train in the simulators, as well as learning how to shoot weapons,” said Dale DePue, a participant at the event. “Even getting a tour of the various aircraft — it was a lot of fun getting to see all of that stuff.”
The participants travelled through different stations, including simulated pistol and rifle ranges, a Marine Corps martial arts program exhibition, static displays of aircraft, aircraft simulator training and a night-vision lab.
Some spouses even wore their Marine’s uniforms to boost morale and help them get a better feeling of what their Marine does for a living, according to 1st Lt. Matthew S. Piston, an MV-22B Osprey pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, MAG-36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
As the day went on, some spouses, who previously served on active-duty in the Marine Corps, shared their knowledge and experience with the others.
“I was an active-duty Marine for eight years and it healed my heart, absolutely healed my heart, to come back and do Marine things, especially shooting the weapons and getting in the simulator,” said Kimberly Kurzenhauser, an event participant. “It was nice to come back to it again.”
Many participants were eager to experience more of the Marine Corps, according to Piston.
“I think it played-out very well. I had a chance to roam around and speak with a lot of the groups as they went through the stations,” said Piston. “Many of the spouses told me how they wished there was a little more time at each station, so we might have to make this a little bit longer in years to come, but overall I feel this event was very well-received by all the participants.”
All the spouses seemed to have a lot of fun, according to DePue. The day served as a great team-building opportunity that allowed everyone to get know each other.
“With my husband being an MV-22B Osprey pilot, I have seen and heard about the aircraft many times, so I was able to help answer a few of the questions other spouses had throughout the day,” said DePue. “I’ve seen some of the stuff before, but I thought it was a neat experience getting into the aircraft and being able to see the night-vision lab. It seems like every Jane Wayne event I’ve done has been different, so I get new experiences all the time.”
After the event concluded, the spouses departed with new experiences and knowledge about their active-duty spouses and what they do to serve country and Corps.
“I think it was great. Many of the girls really haven’t been around some of these events, so they were asking all kinds of questions,” said Kurzenhauser. “(Today), they got their answers.”