Pvt. Keisha Jackson cleans old paint off a door.
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From left to right: Spc. Nalijah Caudle, Cpl. Bianca Ortiz and Spc. Elijah Johnson repaint doors at Vernon Middle School.
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Spc. Kolton Gruber scrubs old paint off of a door.
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From left to right: Pvt. James Pernell, Pfc. Angela Barnett, Cpl. Biana Ortiz and Pfc. Rebecca Nurse work hard.
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By JEAN CLAVETTE GRAVES

Guardian staff

FORT POLK, La. — The Better Opportunities for Single Soldier Program is mutually beneficial for the community and participants. On June 18, Soldiers completed the first day of a four-day beautification project at Vernon Middle School.

The need to repaint the school was determined to be a quality-of-life initiative at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. In February, Col. Ryan K. Roseberry, Fort Polk garrison commander, toured several Vernon Parish schools opening the dialogue about educational challenges facing military children, educators and the school district.

“We always ask what can we do to help when we visit the schools. The school had the paint but needed help to get the job done, and that’s when BOSS stepped up to help,” said Tiffany Koch, school liaison officer.

The three pillars of the BOSS program include quality of life, community service and recreation/leisure. This project fulfills two pillars for the volunteers and the Fort Polk community at large.

Spc. Elijah Johnson, BOSS treasurer, said working on this project gives him a sense of accomplishment. He hopes that students can better concentrate on learning and enjoy the beautification project his team is working on when they return to school. “I get peace of mind and a positive feeling knowing that I can do something for someone else,” Johnson said.

The volunteers plan to repaint the doors and doorframes throughout the building during the summer before students return to class.