FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Spc. Anthony V. Beretta, a combat engineer with Company A, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, said he usually has little trouble finding a date for Friday night. So it wasn't out of necessity he attended the Fort Bragg Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers speed dating event at Sports USA Friday.

"It's something I've wanted to try for a while - you know, another thing to do before you die," the 21 year old said.

The event was the first, but not last, of its kind for BOSS.

"We got together with the BOSS representatives from around base and came up with this idea," explained Sgt. James Soto, BOSS president. "It sounded like something single Soldiers might like to do, so we went ahead and did it."

Nearly 100 participants enjoyed games and free food and beverages. The numbers were split with about 50 men and 50 women.

To begin the event, Spc. Joshua Godwin, BOSS vice president, loosened the crowd up with the "Signature Game." Every speed dater had a couple of minutes to get as many signatures as possible. The first person to get every signature won a prize.

"We just want everyone to feel comfortable and to have a good time," Godwin said.

Once the speed daters were introduced, the one-on-one meetings took place. All the men took their seats. Then the women visited with each guy for two minutes and rotated to the next seat.

At the end of the two-minute chats, the women could ask for the guys' numbers if they felt a connection.

"I'm looking for my valentine," said Spc. Julian A. Granada, a combat engineer with Co. A, 3rd BSTB. "I'm looking for someone with a beautiful smile."

Twenty-year-old Granada explained that he heard about the speed dating event from someone at work and thought it would be fun to try. He and Beretta went together hoping to find dates to share Valentine's Day.

Even if they didn't find their special ladies, Beretta and Granada said they were glad to have had the opportunity.

For more information about upcoming BOSS events, visit