JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation kicked off the last unofficial weekend of summer with a soldier appreciation celebration Aug. 30 at Spates Community Club.

"You all are important to us," said Col. Fern O. Sumpter, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall commander, to the group. "I thank all of you for everything you do every day, for everything you do for the community every day."

BOSS is engaged in three pillars: Community activities, recreation and quality of life for single and unaccompanied soldiers.

"Today is Soldier Appreciation Day, not just for single soldiers, but mainly for single soldiers so they can have somewhere to go and enjoy company, get out of the barracks and have a fun time on the base," explained Spc. Justin Sterbenz, BOSS vice president. "We offer single soldiers world class spots to go to for free, or if we can't {do it} for free with a strong reduction in price."

Sumpter and Command Sgt. Major Earlene Y. Lavender visited with service members at the event, and Sumpter urged attendees to bring a buddy with them to the next BOSS event.

"It's only fun when there's a bunch of people and it's only fun if the sergeant major and I don't stay too long," she joked.

Attendees dined on the typical fare of a summer barbecue - hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings - played horseshoes and volleyball and rocked out to popular tunes that were spun by a disc jockey.

Army Pfc. Sean Swoboda took home the first contest prize of the evening, a pair of tickets and parking pass to the Washington Redskins/Detroit Lions game.

"I was actually coming here not expecting to win anything and I am the first winner," he said.

In all, 43 prizes - including a couple of televisions, a mountain bike and game stations - were given away at the event.