When citizens make the decision to become Soldiers, their Families serve alongside them. Soldiers’ Families are the backbone of their lives. Families provide the comfort and support any person would need to get them through the day, let alone the day of an Army Soldier.
But not all families fully understand the extent of commitment their significant other needs to accomplish their mission, especially for those who are drill sergeants.
This is where John/Jane Wayne day exists. It gives Soldier’s Families the opportunity to gain a small perspective of what their significant other has to do day-in and day-out to train the Army’s finest.
“It gives them an understanding of the extent of their job and the stress that they’re under,” said Capt. Brandon Doble, of the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment. “Some cadre members are gone all day and can’t tell them what they’re doing.”
Family members were treated to two events during the day: demonstrations with the M4 carbine conducted by 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, and obstacles at Victory Tower, conducted by 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. Fit to Win I was originally set as well, but inclement weather in the morning pushed the original schedule back, and made the obstacle too slick to use.
Those who attended were split into two groups and sent to each event.
Family members were also briefed by safety officers before each event. When the time was up for each group, they would switch events. After the events ended, a BBQ lunch awaited hungry Families at Palmetto Falls Water Park.
Some Soldiers were present on their day off to help show their Family the extent of their duties as well and to get some well deserved fun along with it.
Staff Sgt. Krystal Perryman, a drill sergeant, brought her three children along to experience what she does for a living.
“It’s really good for the kids because we have a new cycle in seven days, and they get to see why mom isn’t home,” Perryman said. “And it helps them understand what I do and not just yell at what they think I do.”
In the shooting range event, Family members got to experience, hands on, Army tech and weapons at range 17 on post.
For those that did not wish to shoot, there was a static display, ran by 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, with a Squad Automatic Weapon and an M4. There were also some Army vehicles at the display.
At Victory Tower, Family members could participate in three activities at separate parts of the tower: the mini rappelling wall, the 40 foot rappelling wall and the three rope bridge.
After a detailed safety brief and demonstration, they were allowed onto the event stages. Brandy Carreon was one of the Family members present that braved the rappelling part of the event. She scaled the mini rappelling wall, and went down the 40 foot wall twice. Carreon’s husband is a cadre with 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment.
“I’ve rappelled here before but not off the big wall so it’s a first for me,” Carreon said.
It is surely an experience that these Families will carry around with them for the foreseeable future. After all, the little things in life are what make life worth living.
“It’s fun to get to experience it, and it was just a great experience overall,” Carreon said. “And it helps that I love outdoorsy stuff anyway.”