By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn May 9, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The day started like any other day: physical fitness at 7 a.m., followed by breakfast at the dining facility. But these were not Soldiers; they were spouses.
Nearly 20 spouses with 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, participated in the fifth GI Jane Day on April 30 on Fort Drum. GI Jane Day brings spouses from throughout the battalion together for basic activities their Soldiers encounter in their day-to-day lives.
"We walk them through a multitude of events we do, like physical training, meals at our DFAC, the obstacle course, call for fire and different training that we do," said 1st Lt. Stephen Bruner, B Company platoon leader and one of the event coordinators. "They get hands-on experience on what the Soldiers do on a daily basis."
After PT and breakfast, the group was marched to the obstacle course, where they spent a couple of hours climbing, jumping, balancing and swinging from ropes. After a lunch of Meals, Ready-to-Eat, the group went to the simulation center to check out the Dismounted Soldier Trainer room and learn how to call for fire. The day's activities ended with first responder medical training and a rescue litter race.
"It was a lot of fun actually," said Laura David, wife of Capt. Ryan David. "I haven't been to (a GI Jane Day) and I just wanted to see what it was about, and I wanted to be able to support Alpha Company. I think it is really good for us to get out and see what our husbands do."
Rebeccah Moritz, wife of Staff Sgt. Kevin Moritz assigned to C Company, has now participated in her fourth GI Jane Day. She said she enjoys the event because she can get to know the other ladies and she has a better perspective on what her husband goes through.
"I think GI Jane Day is very important, because you not only get to know the other wives, you have a better understanding of your Soldier," she said. "I think you appreciate more what they have to go through, and it builds that camaraderie that you can have with your spouse."
Bruner was glad his wife decided to join the other spouses in the day's events.
"It was nice for her to participate. Every night I go home and tell her what we do, but it is actually nice for her to come here and see what we do," he said. "She can also bond with the other spouses and build relationships within our battalion."
After a grueling day of activities, each of the participants received a certificate inducting them into the Order of the Lady Polar Bear, or in the case of the one male spouse, the Order of the Polar Bear.