BOSS Soldiers active on post, in community
Spc. Carlos Rios applies caulk to a wall in an Aberdeen home during a BOSS community service project with the Harford Habitat for Humanity Aug. 7.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The members of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program stayed busy with community service projects in August.

During one week, the Soldiers relaxed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground skeet range on Wednesday before tackling a renovation project with the Harford Habitat for Humanity on Saturday.

On Aug. 4, led by BOSS president, Spc. Carlos Rios, and Sgt. Rebekah Lloyd, vice-president, the Soldiers honed their sharpshooting skills while enjoying barbecue and refreshments on the volunteer operated skeet range. Larry Alejo, a retired APG civilian, leads the 16 volunteers, many of whom have been volunteering more than 20 years, who operate the range year round.

He said it was the Soldiers' third trip to the range as a group and that they are the main reason the range stays in operation.

"We just want to keep this going for us and for the Soldiers," he said.

The range is not funded by APG and operates under guidance of the National Skeet Shooting Association.

"These are the same standards they require," Alejo said, adding that the volunteers are certified range safety officers and shotgun instructors who train scout groups and professional development classes. Range hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

It opens Saturday, 1 p.m. and stays open as long as customers are present, Alejo said. Although it has posted hours, Alejo said the range is "open as we are available."

"Call ahead first. If we open and nobody comes for two hours, we'll probably close," he said. For information about the APG Skeet Range, call (410) 838-4065. BOSS activities resumed Aug. 7 when Rios and Lloyd led the team of Soldier volunteers in helping the Harford Habitat for Humanity restore a city of Aberdeen home.

The Soldiers painted the kitchen and laundry room, caulked doorways and bathroom fixtures, and buffed floors under the direction of Dave Roush, construction supervisor and HHH volunteer Roger Dorr. Roush said the "rehab project" included gutting the kitchen and bathroom, replacing plumbing, cabinets, flooring and fixtures, and rebuilding the storage shed.

"I've worked with them before when we delivered a home back in May," Roush said of the BOSS Soldiers. "As soon as they're given lessons on what to do, they're actually a lot quicker than most volunteers."

He said the house is due to be delivered to its new owner Aug. 28. The volunteers included BOSS Soldier Sgt. Sean McBride, Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic. McBride said he worked in home remodeling before and he looks forward to BOSS events.

"Specialist Rios does a good job of keeping us informed," he said. "If I wasn't doing this I probably would have been doing something else but not enjoying it as much." To volunteer for upcoming projects or to learn more about Harford Habitat for Humanity, visit <a href="http://www.harfordhabitat.org">its Web site</a>.

Page last updated Thu August 26th, 2010 at 14:04