By Catherine Ross (Fort Carson)June 27, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- A carnival-like atmosphere encompassed Iron Horse Park June 20, as Fort Carson's single Soldiers somersaulted on bungee trampolines, splashed in a pit of bubbles and enjoyed live music.
About 300 Soldiers joined in the fun during the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers' inaugural Single Soldier Day, which also featured a dunk tank, human foosball and toilet bowl races.
Racing motorized toilet bowls through a narrow course proved a big draw. His first time attending a BOSS event, Spc. Mike Johnson, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, cited the races as his favorite activity at the event.
"I broke my toilet bowl," Johnson said. Pointing to Spc. Keith Webber, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, he continued, "then he ran over me. I beat him in the obstacle course, though."
Webber said he appreciated that his unit encouraged him and other single Soldiers to attend the event, and authorized them to be away from work for the afternoon.
"It was nice that the Army pushed it out to all the single Soldiers, to come for a half day," Webber said. "It was a good turnout."
BOSS president Spc. Anthony Castillo was pleased with units' buy-in to the event.
"Telling Soldiers 'this is where you're going for the day' really builds morale," said Castillo. "The more units we get to do that, the more morale we build."
Castillo said the event is a tool for helping Soldiers integrate into units and hopes to transform Single Soldier Day into an annual occurrence "specifically for the single Soldier. An appreciation day, in a sense, to go and have fun."
In true carnival fashion, Soldiers could purchase refreshments, such as funnel cakes, on site. The day's fun included prize drawings as well, for items donated by local businesses and universities that sponsored the event. Music was provided by deejay Sound of the Soldier and local band Hydrogen Skyline, all volunteering their time.
Several married Soldiers also volunteered to help run the many activities.
"I volunteered so single Soldiers can have some fun," said Sgt. Jim Alexander, 438th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service), who helped run the dunk tank and was even dunked himself several times.
"The Soldiers seem to be having a pretty good time," Alexander said, adding that he would recommend future BOSS events to single Soldiers.
After surviving her first dunking, Pvt. Olivia Boerstler, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Inf. Div., said, "I think it's a lot of fun."