Soldier with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program visit with veterans
December 1, 2008
By Lyndsey Born
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Seven Soldiers with Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers went on a road trip Nov. 19 to the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka where they spent time with veterans.
Upon their arrival, the Soldiers enjoyed lunch with the veterans and traded stories with the former Soldiers who had served in World War II and Vietnam.
"I wanted to spend time with them. I wanted to hear their stories and how they were when they were in the service," said Spc. Justin Ogo, 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. "I am leaving in like two months; that is why I wanted to hear first hand from the people who have already been at war and how they felt."
After lunch a game of bingo was set up in the courtyard so both groups could have some fresh air and spend time together. The Soldiers helped the veterans keep track of their cards and the winners chose prizes ranging from a bag of crackers to a hat.
After a few games of bingo, the BOSS Soldiers headed back to Fort Riley, but Spc. Kareshma Pooran, BOSS president, said the veterans wanted to continue visiting with the Soldiers.
"The best part of the day was probably at the end of the day. The veterans wanted us to stay longer; they wanted to continue talking and invited us to their rooms," Pooran said. "The better part of the day was when they opened up to us."
This is the second time that BOSS Soldiers have been able to go to the VA center but they hope it is not the last, Pooran said.
"I think it went great," Pooran said. "The veterans that usually don't get out, got to come out and interact with the Soldiers."