BOSS garners top awards
September 11, 2009
By Jeremy Wise
FORT RUCKER, Ala.--Local Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) members\' concerted efforts to improve their organization paid off in August when the club garnered two top awards during the annual BOSS Forum in Lansdowne, Va.
The Fort Rucker club won Best Installation Program and Best Event honors in the Army's Small Installation category, one year after earning the top Best Event award and second place in Best Installation Program. The local BOSS competed against 30 other installations. BOSS President Spc. Joshua Merle said after placing second last year, the organization's members worked harder in order to earn the first-place nod.
"We kept better track of what we did. We got more people involved," he said. To compete, BOSS members constructed a storyboard of their activities and created a video documenting their trips and projects. Merle said members even planned how to make the video better in order to receive the top award. Despite the hard work, Merle said he was surprised his group won.
"I know we worked really hard, but a lot of the other people had really good videos," he said. For the second year in a row, the local BOSS won Best Event for their Haunted House display. Merle said more funding allowed last year's spooky event to be bigger than the previous one, helping organization members defend the title. BOSS members collected about 2,500 cans of food to restock the post's food locker as part of the event. Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Deputy Director and BOSS Advisor Evy Bludsworth said the club focuses on numerous community service projects and won the Presidential Award for Volunteer Service earlier this year. Volunteer hours increased from 328 in 2006 to 1,650 in 2008, she said.
"This small group of single Soldiers has a big heart, and what they have accomplished in the past year is simply amazing," Bludsworth said. BOSS members have filled their calendar with upcoming community service projects. On Saturday, the group will take Hearts Apart children - youngsters with deployed parents - fishing at Parcours Lake. The group will collect tickets and promote the Army's I. A.M. Strong campaign at the Soldier Show Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Even though the group earned top honors this year, Merle said BOSS members want to do more to defend their title next year.
"We'll take more pictures and be more organized. We want to do newer and bigger events," he said. Single Soldiers may contact Merle at 255-2677 or Bludsworth at 255-3751 to join or for more information about upcoming BOSS events.