MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Spouses and family members with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 became Marines for a day during the squadron’s Jane Wayne Day here, Sept. 12.
The event was designed to give MWHS-2’s extended family a peek behind the scenes at the squadron’s day-to-day operations and some typical Marine Corps training, said Alesha N. Burkeen, the family readiness officer with the squadron.
“It gives our Marines an opportunity to show their spouses and family what they really do,” said Burkeen, a native of Tallahassee, Fla. “I think family and spouses don’t really know what the Marine Corps is like and this gives the Marines an opportunity to showcase the Marine Corps’ capabilities.”
Jane Wayne Day featured several events and lasted an entire day. Spouses met with senior leaders with MWHS-2; fired at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer; toured aircraft simulators; and took part in several mock training events, including a Marine Corps Martial Arts demonstration.
The event helped give the spouses a sense of how and why their Marine performs their day-to-day duties. It also helped the squadron promote a command climate of family readiness and engaged leadership, said Burkeen.
“With a lot of these spouses, I don’t have their contact information; so now we get to meet them and they get connected with the squadron,” said Burkeen. “When we’re more involved and more engaged our readiness increases because the camaraderie increases. It helps spouses want to come to events because they made a friend here or they are excited to be part of it because they get to see it and experience it.”
Many spouses find it difficult to understand the day-to-day duties of their Marine. Jane Wayne Day gave MWHS-2 an opportunity to open the door for family to see and understand the mission of the Marine Corps and bond with other members of the squadron’s extended family, said Kimberly A. Alaniz, a stay at home mom and soccer coach.
“I got to meet wives that I’ve never met before because I usually stay at home,” said Alaniz, whose husband is Staff Sgt. Israel Alaniz, an aviation supply specialist with the squadron. “Meeting other spouses was really nice.”
According to Kimberly, a former Sailor and native of Port Isabel, Texas, the event also gave family members a better understanding of their Marine’s individual mission and how they contribute to the squadron’s success.
“I’m prior enlisted so I knew some of it, but there is different lingo that I’ve never heard before,” she said. “I think this helps because the spouses get to see what our Marines do. I got to see some of the things he does so I can relate to some of his situations and what he says so when he comes home and he’s tired I can understand better.”