Jayne Wayne Day brings BLT families closer

12 Aug 2003 | Sgt. Mark P. Ledesma 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines of Battalion Landing Team 1/1 had an opportunity to share their Marine Corps experience with their spouses and family members during Jayne Wayne Day at Camp Horno Aug. 12.

According to Lt. Col. Brian Beaudreault, commanding officer, BLT 1/1, it was an opportunity for spouses to come out and enjoy the day with their Marines and Sailors to get a better understanding and appreciation of what their husbands go through on a day-to-day basis.

Static displays of the battalion's different arsenal and vehicles were at the event for all to view and touch.  Subject matter experts, such as snipers, were available for any questions attendants had to ask.

Family members were assigned to squad leaders, who guided them through the different stations.  Stations included static displays of a zodiac, an M-252 81mm Mortar, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical equipment and mine detection equipment.  Family members also had a chance to get some trigger time at Camp Horno's Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer followed by a Light Armored Vehicle ride to Range 218 for live fire of the M-9 pistol and M-16A4 service rifle.

Lunch was provided to family members in the form of Meals, Ready to Eat.

According to Navy Lt. Maurice A. Buford, BLT 1/1chaplain, crowd attendance was good considering many spouses had to work around their daily schedule.

"We are getting ready to deploy and spouses are trying to spend as much time as they can with their Marines and if it means coming down to their job, then so be it," said Buford, emphasizing the importance of family members.  

According to Buford, family members are the back bone of the BLT.

"By attending, it epitomizes how much they support their spouses and how much they support the mission," said Buford.  "I think this (event) is very much a part of family readiness and I want to thank the BLT's spouses for being our back bone."

The event also gave an opportunity for spouses to meet each other and possibly support one another while their husbands are deployed.

"Being newly married, it's nice to meet some of the other wives," said Kelly Rodgers, who has only been married for six weeks.

Although Jayne Wayne Day was an event meant for Marine and Sailor spouses, it was also open to other family members.

"The day has been enjoyable," said Carol Huff, mother of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Michael Herndon.  "I'm grateful that they (the BLT) were willing to take the time to set-up and let the families experience this.  For me, there's a lot less fear when I see what they do and things are not unknown."

According to many of the event's attendants, Jayne Wayne Day was a well-planned event, which brought family members closer to their Marines and Sailors.  The day gave BLT families a great opportunity to spend quality time with one another before deployment.

13th Marine Expeditionary Unit