JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Already renowned for haunting tales of phantom platoons singing cadences and cowboy spirits patrolling training areas, Joint Base Lewis-McChord got a bit spookier Oct. 24 as visitors traveled down a haunted, crooked road.
Every Halloween, the JBLM Better Opportunities for Single Service Members team and volunteers work to set up a theatric haunted house in order to raise money for programs throughout the year.
“This event is BOSS’s largest fundraiser for the entire fiscal year, and all of the proceeds go directly to the program,” said Spc. Kyle Seymour, JBLM BOSS president. “With this money we are able to successfully operate thrilling and exciting programs for single service members.”
This year BOSS launched its first COVID-friendly Haunted Crooked Road event for visitors to experience from their personal vehicles. Spanning more than 1 and a half miles of wooded trail near American Lake, the road wound through crime scenes, a witch’s pyre, an evil carnival and a haunted graveyard.
“Over 40 volunteers were involved in this year’s excellent production,” Seymour said. “These volunteers include service members from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, service members’ teenagers and spouses.”
Service members came from various brigades across the installation including, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Military Police Brigade, 62nd Medical Brigade, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, I Corps and the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade.
With lines of vehicles reaching from the Northwest Adventure Center to the Lewis North Gate and beyond, the event proved to be a thrilling success.
“Without the assistances of the BOSS advisers, and other MWR employees, this program would not be possible,” Seymour said. “Because of the dedication of all volunteers, this event came to life and generated the BOSS program over $7,000 dollars.”
The event was hosted in two parts: a “not so scary” experience from 2 to 4 p.m. and a “very scary” thrill ride from 6 to 8 p.m. At the end of the road, visitors were rewarded with a goody bag containing Halloween-themed tricks and treats.
“The crooked road was so much fun,” said Chandler Thompson, 6-year-old Halloween enthusiast. “My favorite part was the zombies and the candy at the end.”
The JBLM BOSS program supports the overall quality of life for single service members and is based on three program pillars: quality of life, community service and recreation and leisure.
The team is overseen by an MWR adviser, as well as the JBLM garrison command sergeant major and senior enlisted adviser. Each unit assigns a BOSS rep to represent the voice of its single service members. Unit BOSS reps are responsible for ensuring their service members are well-informed about upcoming events and quality of life issues.
“On behalf of the BOSS community, we are extremely thankful for all the service members, retirees, veterans, employees and family members that came out to the Haunted Crooked Road,” Seymour said. “Thank you again to all the volunteers and staff, and it is because of you, that the BOSS program now has a solid foundation to provide excellent programs and events for all the single service members on the installation.”
Joint Base Lewis-McChord website