By Kristin Bradley, USAG Hohenfels Public AffairsJuly 24, 2008
HOHENFELS, Germany - With the Army emphasizing family support, single Soldiers understandably might believe they are being overlooked.
At U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels, however, there's a push to ensure that doesn't become the norm.
For example, last month the garrison hosted a week-long conference attended by staff members, tenant unit representatives and single Soldiers to develop initiatives to increase the quality of life for single troops here.
During the conference, participants developed four goals:
*improve recreation and entertainment programming and facilities;
*improve the communications process with single Soldiers;
*develop a program to match young single Soldiers with U.S. and German families in the community;
*develop and nurture single Soldiers through the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program.
BOSS is an Army-level program that falls under Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Its mission is to enhance the wellbeing and support of community efforts for Soldiers by providing leisure and recreation activities.
"We want to make sure they know they have 'family' here even though they are not around their family (back home)," said Cpl. Conrad "Ion" Rath, Hohenfels BOSS president, adding that he wants Soldiers to become more aware of various services and activities offered by BOSS, which recently hosted a summer kickoff barbecue, complete music and games.
The garrison's BOSS building is open to community single servicemembers every Monday and Saturday from 7-11 p.m., and the recreation center has pool tables, ping-pong, big-screen televisions and an X-Box 360.
And while games and TV are great for unwinding after a long day at work, being in Europe would not be complete without leisure travelling - another BOSS endeavor.
Rath noted that in addition to upcoming rock band and karaoke competitions, the group is planning trips to the German Alps near Berchtesgaden and Schloss Neuschwanstein, the famed fairytale castle built by King Ludwig II.
Although, "BOSS's first focus is on the single Soldier, it is for all active-duty Soldiers and family members as well," said Spc. Frankie Keffales, BOSS representative for 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment. "It's an opportunity to get away from work; to enjoy yourself."
Rath added that besides planning leisure activities, BOSS provides support to redeploying troops.
"Married Soldiers go back home; single Soldiers (return) to the barracks," pointed out. "We try to make sure (single Soldiers') needs are taken care of, that they have someone to talk to, that they get out of the barracks, so they know they're not alone."