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Tawni Crossan, Marine Attack Squadron 214 spouse, climbs up a rope during VMA-214’s Jane Wayne Day at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., April 9, 2010. Jane Wayne Day allows Corps dependents to spend a day as Marines, learning about what they do and how they train. Thirty-three spouses spent the day doing activities such as weapons training, Marine Corps martial arts, watching Harriers deliver ordnance and running the obstacle course. Crossan was the only spouse to complete the rope climb.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison

Learning the ropes: Yuma spouses spend the day as Marines

15 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison

Marine Attack Squadron 214 hosted a Jane Wayne Day here April 9, 2010, to promote understanding for Marine dependents and their family members’ jobs.

Jane Wayne Day allows Corps dependents to spend a day as Marines, learning about what they do and how they train.

“It gives us the opportunity to show our spouses what we go through on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Robert Schroder, VMA-214 commanding officer. “It’s an opportunity to say thank you to the spouses for all their sacrifices on their end of the Marine Corps family.”

Thirty-three spouses got a firsthand experience of Marine life, spending the day firing weapons, practicing Marine Corps martial arts and watching AV-8B Harriers drop bombs.

“It’s fun to see what they always come home and talk about,” said Kimberly Lewenthal, VMA-214 spouse. “It gives us a deeper appreciation for what our husbands do every day.”

Spouses also experienced the essence of Marine training when they fired M-16A4 service rifles. After a safety brief, Marines loaded their spouses’ magazines so they could shoot, and for a half-hour the spouses sighted in and fired.

“I was shaken by the adrenaline,” said Jenelle Frey, VMA-214 spouse.

After shooting, families sat down at Ramada Field to try out Meals, Ready-to-Eat.

“You can’t really complain when you tell your kids all the time ‘shut up and eat it!’” said Frey.

Spouses then split into two groups for the Harrier simulator and Marine Corps martial arts lessons coupled with a run through the obstacle course.

The day ended with a tour of the Black Sheep hangar.

“I thought it was awesome,” said Master Sgt. Robert Wendt, VMA-214 family readiness officer. “We kept asking what they thought of it, and it seemed like they had a great time.”

“I think Jane Wayne Day is fabulous,” said Debbie Schroder, VMA-214 spouse. “We know they’ve done a lot of work, and we appreciate it.”

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