MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Loved ones of Camp Pendleton Marines took part in the annual John/Jane Wayne Day to experience life in the boots of their Marine, March 19.
The family members were welcomed to John/Jane Wayne Day and given the opportunity to see what their Marines do on a daily basis. Events included a Combat Fitness Test, rifle and pistol shooting, a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program lesson, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal display and a military working dog demonstration.
“John/Jane Wayne Day is a way for everyone to get a taste of what Marines do for their training,” said Rebecca Gamboa, family readiness officer for Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and for Marine Corps Installations West. “We’re helping the family members get a better understanding of what it takes to be a Marine, and what it takes to maintain that title.”
This year’s John/Jane Wayne Day was organized by several different units and the spouses were put into platoons led by former drill instructors and assisted by volunteer squad leaders.
“We received some pretty hardcore training today,” said Bree Salas, a Camp Pendleton Marine’s spouse. “I had no idea how hard it was to be a Marine.”
All the events are fun for the spouses, but the main reason John/Jane Wayne Day is organized is to let the spouses know they are just as much a part of the unit as their Marine, said Col. James A. Hogberg, commanding officer, HQSPT battalion, MCB Camp Pendleton.
“Spouses get to experience what their [Marines and sailors] do for a living,” said Hogberg. “It’s important to integrate the family and give them a sense of camaraderie, which is ultimately what we’re doing here today. A lot of these spouses are coming from all over the country and they are getting a chance to also meet other spouses and become a part of the battalion.”
The family members received t-shirts, water bottles and snacks for their hard work and perseverance at John/Jane Wayne Day. And although everyone was a winner, those that were the top performers of the day were recognized with gift baskets for their accomplishments at the cookout, held after their hard day of training.
“A lot of units host events for spouses such as this one, but we are happy to welcome anyone who is interested,” said Gamboa. “We also host other festivals to help bring spouses into the military community.”
For more information on attending a future event for spouses, contact Rebecca Gamboa at 760-763-7459.