CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - -- Thirty-three women boarded two buses early in the morning, unknowing what the rest of the day would bring. The bus took a familiar route down Highway 17, but eventually slowed and turned down a dirt path. The path extended for what seemed like miles. Questions streamed through their minds as to what they would expect once the buses came to a halt. At the end of the path, their husbands waited patiently, eager to take them through a day in their boots.
Second Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, hosted a Spouse Appreciation Day at Range SR-10 aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 2, 2015.
“[Spouse Appreciation Day] allows the spouses to see what the Marines do on a day-to-day basis, “ said Master GySgt. Ramon Sanchez, the operations chief with the battalion. “The spouses get a better understanding of what they always hear about, but might not get the chance to see.”
The military spouses participated in multiple events throughout the day, starting with a live fire demonstration of an M1A1 Abrams tank. The tank fired rounds from its massive 120mm main gun. The spouses were then given the opportunity to board the tank and hitch a ride down trails surrounding the range.
Adding to the activities, the spouses visited stations that involved an M9 Berretta pistol range and a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program demonstration. Throughout the day, the spouses gained a better understanding of what their Marine does daily.
“It’s important to understand your husband’s job, some of the stresses that they’re under and some of the things they deal with,” said Chasity Knight, the wife of Sgt. Zach Knight, a Marine with the battalion.
Sanchez says that the rain helped make the events more
challenging and helped give the spouses a full military
“Even though we get soaked, we still drive on,” Sanchez said.
Even though inclement weather may have delayed some of the fun, spouses would walk away with more than just wet feet.
“From my experience, I can say that my wife has come to these events and met life-long friends,” said Sanchez. “They make connections and it will last with them whether they stay with the Marine Corps or not.”