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Yuma's VMA-211 spouses spend day in Marines' boots

By Lance Cpl. Sean Dennison | | May 27, 2010

Marine Attack Squadron 211 hosted a Jane Wayne Day at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., May 21, 2010, to allow family and friends to spend a day in a Marine’s boots, some literally, and witness first-hand what Marines do.

More than 20 Wake Island Avenger spouses spent the day touring the station’s various shops and personally stepping into roles such as a firefighter or an AV-8B Harrier pilot.

Jane Wayne Day gives families a chance to realize some of the things their Marines go through, said Sgt. Maj. Robert Pullen, squadron sergeant major. It also brings spouses together and lets them interact in a social forum, which helps them build relationships.

The day began at the squadron hangar, where they were greeted by former drill instructor Master Sgt. Tyon Downing. After finding out what it means to be “chewed out,” the spouses headed to Ramada Field for physical training.

Marines are expected to always be combat ready, and the idea was re-enforced as the spouses engaged each other with pugil sticks, ran the obstacle course, and subdued a simulated aggressor.

“I didn’t think it’d be so physical,” said Doorly Winegar, VMA-211 spouse. “I just thought we’d get a tour of the base. It makes me appreciate what the other Marines do.”

Spouses also laughed as some Avengers donned padded suits and were taken down by military working dogs. The heat turned up as station firefighters let the spouses suit up and put out controlled fires.

The day ended with spouses alternating between shooting at simulated targets at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer and the testing out the Harrier flight simulator.

“I’ve reached a whole new level of respect for my husband and every other Marine,” said Christina Belanger, squadron spouse.

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