FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — More than 3,000 Soldiers participated in the 14th annual Single Soldiers Fest, hosted by the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Program, Sept. 29 at Phantom Warrior Stadium here.
The BOSS Program holds events and provides fun activities for single Soldiers to participate in throughout the year, but Single Soldiers Fest is their biggest event.
“Single Soldiers Fest is an opportunity for our Soldiers to get an installation-wide morale event that we don’t get throughout the year,” said Cpl. Kandice Pritchard-Harmon, BOSS President. “This is our one annual time … where Soldiers have the opportunity to socialize with Soldiers that they usually don’t see. This is where medical meets infantry, infantry meets artillery, artillery meets transportation. Everyone is fellowshipping with each other.
“It’s an opportunity to socialize, make new friends, to build morale within our installation and not just individually with our units here on base,” she continued. “It’s something for us to bring everyone together and give recognition to single Soldiers for the work we do in the Army.”
The event lasted all afternoon and Soldiers had a plethora of things to do. They could speak to representatives of different organizations and play a variety of games including football, basketball, ping-pong, as well as a tricycle racing contest and a hula hooping contest. In the stadium parking lot was a plethora of food trucks with yummy food items to choose from, and those who were seeking some adventure could zip down an inflatable zip-line.
Pritchard-Harmon was elated to see so many Soldiers enjoying the event.
“I feel very blessed and happy to see all of these people out here, but mostly I feel proud,” she said. “I feel proud that all of these Soldiers have the opportunity to come out here and they’re participating in games, they’re talking to our sponsors, they’re talking to our vendors. They’re out there at the food trucks and I just see so many people smiling and laughing with each other. I’ve also seen a few Soldiers shaking hands with each other. I’ve seen senior NCOs (noncommissioned officers) out here, doing formations, having conversations with their Soldiers about how to be safe out here, but to also have nothing but fun because they deserve it.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Calvin Hall, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos command sergeant major, was happy to see so many single Soldiers enjoying themselves. He said that it’s important to show appreciation for them and all that they do.
“We’ve taken the time to ensure that we’re doing events that will increase the morale and welfare of our Soldiers,” he said. “When you’re looking at the bigger picture, events like this are what’s going to eventually make the decision for the Soldier whether or not they want to stay in for a longer period of time, which is going to help with the Army’s overall readiness.
“It’s like we’re giving back,” he continued. “Giving back to all the things that we know our single Soldiers have to give up. We know that the things that they are asked to do and required to do on a daily basis is hard. This is a time to show our appreciation for what they do.”
Pritchard-Harmon said Single Soldiers Fest was a great way to let single Soldiers know that the Army appreciates them.
“Being a Soldier means that we live in the barracks, we are away from our families,” she said, “and this is an opportunity for us to be together and make friends.”