MCAS New River spouses walk a mile ‘in their boots’
By Lance Cpl. Andy J. Orozco, Marine Corps Air Station New River
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. --
The tables were turned for Marines, when their spouses woke up Saturday morning, drove to Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., and were greeted with a rude awakening as they met Marine Corps drill instructors. Spouses learned the basics of close-order drill and felt a drill instructor’s wrath – something their Marines felt during their experiences in boot camp.
A typical day for Marines is not to get yelled at by drill instructors. However, their spouses participated in an “In their Boots,” event, April 5, which gave spouses an opportunity to understand life from a Marine’s perspective.
Although drill is an important part of instilling discipline and teaching individuals how to march, it is more than drill that makes up a Marine.
Patrons also learned basic moves from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, conducted a modified combat fitness test which included tug-of-war, and used the flight simulators for the MV-22B Osprey, CH-53E Super Stallions and the AH-1W Super Cobras according to Jennifer Anderson, H&HS family readiness officer.
Staff Sgt. Alex Colon-Soto, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron air traffic controller and prior drill instructor, said he enjoyed seeing his wife go through the training.
“It was interesting to see her enjoy the things I do on a daily basis and everything I enjoy as a Marine. It was a lot of fun,” said Colon-Soto. “I think this event is important for spouses to see what their Marine spouse does on their day-to-day operations.”
Carrie Colon, Colon-Soto’s wife and participant of the event, said she enjoys seeing and doing what her husband has to go through for his job.
“To be able to see some of the things he goes through on a regular basis to keep their training up is pretty intense, but it’s pretty cool to see that side of their training,” said Colon.
Colon said events like “In Their Boots” is important because it gives her a better understanding of the Marine Corps and it also allows the spouses to socialize.
“A lot of people don’t come out because they think they won’t know anybody,” said Colon. “I didn't know a single air traffic control spouse before I came here and I've been on this station over a year, but I got to meet them. I knew by coming to this event I would be able to meet other spouses and I think that’s what really helps, especially when your spouse deploys and you have those people to lean on and help you get through it because your husbands are together and you can be together.”
Colon-Soto also believes events like this make military families stronger.
“It gives them the opportunity to see what they do as far as the rifle range and (physical training), not just their job, and it will also help them connect better as a military family,” said Colon-Soto.