By Pfc. Jared S. Eastman, 1st HBCT Public Affairs, 3rd Infantry DivisionMay 7, 2009
FORT STEWART AND HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Morale, Welfare and Recreation brought Soldiers out of their barracks with a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Walk for Pride event at Donovan Field on Fort Stewart and at The Squire's Sports Complex on Hunter Army Airfield, May 2.
Families and command groups walked with the Soldiers to raise money for the BOSS program and all that it stands for.
"I think it's been a very successful BOSS walk, and the participation has been outstanding," said Lt. Col. Stanley Fugate, deputy commander of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team. "The BOSS program is a great program. If you didn't have it, the single Soldiers would get left out of activities, so the (1st HBCT) chain of command will always support BOSS."
Even Soldiers who didn't walk had a great time at the event.
"Today, we are having a walk for BOSS," said Pfc. Joseph Cantymagli, a Soldier in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st HBCT, and the grillmaster for the event. "It's a good cause; we're raising some money here for BOSS functions, and we're just trying to have a good time. I think it's a great program, and they really care about the Soldiers."
The event started with a donation period, then a walk as people continued to bring up donations to the MWR travel trailer. Marline Parker, MWR, recreation delivery system programmer, was pleased with the turnout.
"I think it's going great for the first time running it," said Parker. "Donations are still coming in, and everyone seems to be having a good time. Most of my job is programming new events."
Parker said her team and BOSS worked together to make for a successful fundraiser, the funds of which will allow BOSS to offer more leisure and recreation for the single Soldiers.
Although it was the first time the event has been held, single Soldiers have volunteered for countless events in garrison.
"This pride walk was designed to show everyone that single Soldiers are part of the Army Family and they are very important to us," Parker said. "Single Soldiers volunteer so much for community (and) MWR events like Christmas tree lighting and Fallfest. Any time we need single Soldiers to come and help out, they respond. This was our way to say thank you."
At Fort Stewart, Soldiers and Family Members raised around $7,050 throughout the day for BOSS programs and events.
"All the proceeds today go to the BOSS program," Parker said happily. "It will allow BOSS to provide Soldiers with more activities like a small trip, speed dating and other activities on a monthly basis."
At Hunter, the BOSS program collected more than $700 from the event. One of the participants included Francesca Roschewski who was 9 months pregnant and in active labor.
"It's important to help out single Soldiers just as much as married Soldiers," Roschewski said. "I am out here to support the BOSS program."
Her husband, Spc. Brandon Roschewski, 24th Ordnance Company, 87th Corps Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, was enthusiastic about the BOSS event.
He said giving single Soldiers something to do with their free time is very important for community building. The Soldiers and Family Members who have contributed to BOSS with their time and money, he added, will reap the benefits by enjoying a stronger community.
Staff Sergeant Krishna Gillis, BOSS vice president, had much to say about the BOSS program.
"We go out in the community, and we try to get our name out there," said Staff Sgt. Gillis. "We give out flyers, and we hold meetings every month at Fort Stewart's Rocky's. We are trying to get more established here at Hunter, so we don't have a set location for the single Soldiers here to meet up. They can come and talk to me at garrison headquarters; I have an office there, and that's where I do all my BOSS program work in conjunction with Fort Stewart."
The BOSS program also has many programs for the future.
"It's a very good program; we do lots of positive things," Staff Sgt. Gillis added. She said the program gets Soldiers out of the barracks for a variety of events.
"We have a cruise coming up, and with the money that we raise here, we can discount the price of the cruise for the Soldiers who want to go on it," she continued. "It's a real positive way to do lots of fun activities at discounted prices and build camaraderie with the other single Soldiers."
Although the BOSS program is made up of both single and married Soldiers, Staff Sgt. Gillis is quick to stress the importance of the single Soldier.
"BOSS can only work if single Soldiers are involved. It totally revolves around them and what they want to do. We don't come up with the ideas, they come up with the ideas, and so BOSS is run by the single Soldier."
(Kaytrina Curtis, Hunter Army Airfield Public Affairs, also contributed to this article.)