Fort Stewart BOSS Soldiers enjoy the snow of the Smoky Mountains
February 25, 2010
<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>-There are a lot of recreational activities, sports and events that people in certain areas cannot enjoy due to the climates in which they live.
However, Fort Stewart Soldiers experienced something new that many around the area have never been able to experience firsthand.
The installation Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program provided Soldiers an opportunity to head up to Gatlinburg, Tenn. for a weekend of snowboarding and skiing on the Smokey Mountains at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park, Feb. 19-21.
"The Soldiers were able to experience something that a lot of Soldiers never get exposed to," said Staff Sgt. Phillip Phinisee, BOSS vice president. He added that he was a little sore but enjoyed himself immensely. "I, personally, have never seen skiing in Georgia unless I watch it on TV."
For some Soldiers, skiing and snowboarding was a favorite pastime of theirs before they joined the Army, and have not been able to enjoy that activity in quite a long time.
"I haven't skied in a few years, and I never thought I would be able to ski in Georgia," said Spc. Preston Briggs, Company A, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, a Michigan native who has been snowboarding countless times.
For many of the Soldiers, it was their first time on the slopes. Soldiers like Spc. Bernard Brosam, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, were excited about their first time to try it out.
"It was the first time for a lot of us. Some were experienced and some weren't," said Spc. Brosam. "It was beautiful. There were a lot of people and a lot of interesting faces. It was a very unique experience. Not many people you come across say they have been skiing or snowboarding. It looks fun and entertaining seeing them on TV doing tricks. So when you get out there you want to see what you can do. I would definitely recommend it."
The BOSS program holds a lot of these types of trips, said Staff Sgt. Phinisee.
It gives the Soldiers a chance to experience things they may not ever have before or enjoy things that they liked to do before they joined the Army.
"Our trip ideas basically come from the minds of Soldiers; things they want to do, things they used to do before they came in the Army, or just things they love to do," said Staff Sgt. Phinisee. "We try to incorporate those things into the BOSS program so that they can get out and do those things at a relatively low cost."
The trips are great morale boosters for Soldiers, he continued. They allow the Soldiers to get out of the barracks and go do things. For the Soldiers who went on the trip, the consensus was the same and summed up best by Spc. Brosam.
"It was a great trip," he said. "We were able to go out, have a good time and really unwind. I definitely want to come back and do it again."