Spouses get taste of Soldier life
September 27, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- In the final formation Sept. 21, 19 spouses covered in sweat, mud and welts stood before Capt. Shayne Heap.
"Tell your friends they either have tiny hearts or tiny children," said Heap, commander, Rear Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
That morning, 45 spouses stood in the formation, ready to tackle physical training, land navigation, weapons simulators and paintball and obstacle courses as part of 4th BCT's Jayne Wayne Day. Throughout the day, that number dwindled due to personal obligations with school, work or children.
"We had a good turnout," said Amy Mingus, wife of Col. James J. Mingus, brigade commander. "It's a fun day that builds camaraderie. This gives (spouses) a chance to see what their Soldiers are doing."
In the physical training pit outside the 4th BCT headquarters building, spouses shouted reps as they completed rowers, rear lunges, squat benders and pushups, following Staff Sgt. Jamie Jenness' lead.
"They seemed to catch on and were motivated," said Jenness, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th BCT. "They need a lot of practice, but it's good to see them come out here and at least try."
Jenness led the spouses through the PT session, which included lateral, vertical and shuttle runs.
"My legs are on fire," said Marshall Binkley, spouse. "I'm getting a new appreciation for what (my wife) does. I'm out of shape. I don't think I could do minimal PT."
Binkley said he was looking forward to the events after PT -- specifically the weapons simulator.
"I like anything that has to do with firearms," he said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Willie Pearson, Rear Detachment brigade sergeant major, played drill sergeant as the spouses stood in formation, shouting for his "recruits" to hurry up and shut up.
"It's fun," he said after scolding a spouse for talking on her phone. "It's nice seeing the spouses get out here enjoying themselves."
Pvt. Michael Copeland, 4th STB, led his team of spouses to victory during the land navigation portion of the day, which had spouses tracking various points around the 4th BCT complex using a compass.
"They did good," he said. "I explained it once and they took over."
"There's definitely a learning curve, but we figured it out," said Dawn Turnboo, a member of the winning team.
After a lunch of Meals Ready-to-Eat, the group split up to tackle the obstacle courses and weapons simulator where spouses fired rifles and a .50-caliber machine gun.
"Paintball and the simulator was the best part," said Molly Wolf, after completing a half-mile obstacle course.
Before the final formation, the spouses who survived the day's events compared welts, bruises and experiences.
"I'm getting a new appreciation for what my husband does," said Natalie Ryan. "Now I understand why my husband comes home tired and muddy."