Families of Fort Leonard Wood troops got the chance to experience what it is like to be a member of the U.S. Armed Forces for a day.
Friday, 21 ladies participated in the Marine Corps Detachment's Jane Wayne Day, then on Saturday families of the 14th Military Police Brigade also had a Jane Wayne Day.
Ladies participating in the Marine Corps Detachment's Jane Wayne day cleared a building, conducted a high-risk traffic stop, learned some new moves from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, performed an Initial Strength Test and helped recover an armored vehicle from frigid water.
"Jane Wayne Day is one way spouses, girlfriends and fiancAffA,Aes within a unit can build camaraderie. It also provides the loved ones an opportunity to see what their Marines do at Fort Leonard Wood. It gives them a chance to be able to talk to their Marines and finally say, 'I understand a little of what you go through,'" said Jacqui Withers, Marine Corps Detachment family readiness officer.
Marine wife, Brittany Liberson said her favorite part of the day was recovering the armored vehicle.
"The pit was fun. I enjoyed it," Liberson said, "But the neatest part of Jane Wayne Day is it getting the wives together. I have met so many new people."
Liberson said she wanted to show her husband Marine wives are tough too.
"He said I couldn't handle it, but I did," Liberson said.
Col. Nancy Springer, Fort Leonard Wood Marine Corps Detachment commander said it is important for the Marines to share their day-to-day lives with their loved ones.
"I think it's a big moral booster for the Marines because they get to show off what they do. It gives the Marines a chance to show everybody something that they are very proud of," Springer said.
Jane Wayne day also helps families understand why their military members work such long hours.
"Sometimes it may be a little hard to fully understand what their Marines do and why their days are so long despite this being a non-deploying unit," Withers said.
14th Military Police Brigade Command Sgt. Major Gerald Stegemeier said that is especially true for his Soldiers.
"Drill sergeants have a long day, on average spouses are still asleep when Soldiers leave for work in the morning and a lot of times their children are already in bed by the time they arrive home," Stegemeier said.
On Saturday,14th MP families got the chance to go through an obstacle course, rappel from a miniature tower and experience realistic marksmanship in the Engagement Skills Trainer; while the little ones played in the bounce house and had their faces painted.
Stegemeier said the 14th Military Police Brigade is going to try to host Jane Wayne day semi-annually.
"We really appreciate the families behind our service members. If you can't keep the families motivated for the Soldiers then we aren't going to keep dedicated Soldiers in the Army," Stegemeier said, "Families are a critical component to the success of the Army."
Stegemeier wanted to include the little ones in Jane Wayne Day because sometimes it is hard for kids to accept their parent being gone.
"If they get a feeling that what their mom or dad does is important to the nation it makes them a little bit more willing to share mom or dad," Stegemeier said.
Withers said days like this are especially important for Marine families on Fort Leonard Wood because this location is a little out of the ordinary for them.
"They are not typically surrounded by a lot of Marine families so there may be a feeling of being lost in a sea of Army, so now more than ever is a time where events such as Jane Wayne Day can help spur a budding relationship. This only builds a tighter military family and a tighter corps," Withers said
Springer believes moral boosting days are important for all branches of the military.
"I encourage units to do a Jane Wayne Day. I think it improves communication and understanding and gives everybody an insight into another person's world," Springer said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16