MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – --
On the morning of May 19, Marines of 2nd Radio Battalion and their spouses gathered aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for Jane Wayne Day.
The wives and one husband of the 2nd Radio Battalion Marines dressed up in personal protective equipment at the event and some even came in their Marine’s MARPAT uniforms.
“It creates a good buzz for spouses,” said Lt. Col. Matt Rau, commanding officer, 2nd Radio Bn. “They talk to each other and it gives the battalion a sense of community and it gives spouses an insight into what their Marines do, which is great because husbands, wives and children want to know what we’re doing and they want to be a part of it.”
After being served breakfast, the spouses were briefed on the events of the day which included going to the range in military vehicles to shoot weapons and learn Marine Corps Martial Arts.
“We get a chance to play with the toys that Marines play with and do what they do,” said Milinda Rau, wife of Lt. Col. Rau and a trainer for Marine Corps Family Team Building. “Marines talk in a completely different language and it’s nice to get out here and experience what they are talking about.”
Before driving to the range, the spouses were given instruction on how to use camouflage face paint and applied it to their faces, further preparing themselves for the tasks ahead.
After moving to the range in Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements and 7-ton trucks, the spouses split into three groups. One group got on the firing line to shoot the M-4 carbine while another took lessons from MCMAP instructors. The third group took turns riding in the Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System, a light armored vehicle used by the Marine Corps.
“There are a lot of new spouses here this year so they are experiencing all of this stuff for the first time,” explained Milinda Rau. “Last year I shot the M-4 carbine and the M-9 pistol and I hung the target on my wall at home because I was so proud...I begged for a grenade launcher this year, but they said no.”
After several hours of weapons operations, MCMAP and physical training, the spouses were done being Marines for the day.
“It was a good experience for all of us to get more comfortable and build camaraderie,” said Cpl. Jeri Kay Sutherland, embark chief, 2nd Radio Battalion. “I’m so happy that my husband came out to support me and what I do.”