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Marines and their spouses observe the impact zone of 155 mm howitzer rounds aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 6, 2014. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, held a Jane Wayne Day for Marine spouses to see what their service member does in the field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tony Simmons/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tony Simmons

Jane Wayne hits the gun line

10 Sep 2014 | Lance Cpl. Tony Simmons

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, held a Jane Wayne Day for Marine spouses aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 6, 2014.

The day started with issuing participants bottles of water and personal protective equipment for the day’s activities. They were also given Meals, Ready-to-Eat, which are prepackaged food rations given to Marines in the field.

Service members and spouses were put into formations with flak jackets and Kevlar helmets and instructed to climb into the back of a 7-ton truck to start the activities.

Participants saw the emplacement of M777A2 Lightweight howitzer cannons, then walked to the gun line and fire direction center.

After a demonstration of fire missions, participants were able to ask the gun crew questions and look through the sights of the cannon.

Participants loaded back up on the trucks and went to an M4 service rifle firing range.

Spouses received a lesson in weapon safety rules and watched a demonstration before taking the opportunity to fire an M4 themselves.

“I get to see what my husband does, it helps us bond when we do things like this,” said Marine wife, Tylena Muray, from Philadelphia.

Service members and spouses were brought to an outpost used as a forward position from which fire missions can be called. They observed the impact zone of the howitzer’s 155 mm rounds from the outpost.

“I think this is something good for the Marine Corps – sometimes wives don’t understand what we talk about,” said Cpl. Ramel Brown, a radio operator with F battery, 2nd battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, from Yonkers, New York. “This gives them an opportunity to see why we don’t come home till the sun goes down.”

The final station of the day was a demonstration of what would happen in case of an assault on the unit’s position.

Participants were able to see direct fire from the M777A2 Lightweight howitzer, as well as M240B and .50-caliber Browning machine guns.

Once everyone boarded the trucks and arrived back on the parade deck where they started, spouses stood in a formation to return gear and shared thoughts with each other about the day’s activities.

“They take pride in what they do,” said Muray. “It was a great opportunity and makes me want to come to another.”