By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffMarch 5, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers members are known for their many community service efforts around post; however, even those most dedicated to helping others sometimes need to take breaks for themselves.
Sixteen single Soldiers did just that Jan. 22-25 when they hit the slopes in an effort to relax and bond during a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn.
The winter-themed vacation was a first for BOSS members here, prompted by Soldiers' desire for a change of pace.
"BOSS hosted this event because the single Soldiers wanted to do something new, exciting and different," said Spc. Joshua Merle, BOSS president. "BOSS (officials) came up with a ski trip to Gatlinburg, (and) it was cheap for Soldiers."
When they weren't channeling their inner athletes on the mountainsides, Soldiers traipsed through Gatlinburg to see the sights there.
Taking time to decompress from work and build friendships is important for young Soldiers, Merle said.
"It gives Soldiers a break and time to heal themselves (because) sometimes stuff gets overwhelming," he said. "BOSS is here to give Soldiers time to relax and bring up their morale."
Merle said the ski trip was so popular BOSS leaders are considering hosting a similar event early next year, which sits well with attendees.
"I attended the ski trip to see something new. I haven't been snowboarding in a long time and figured it would be an awesome experience," said BOSS member Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Tyler, A Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment. "I met some really great people and just had a blast. I would definitely do it again if I had the chance to."
Hanging out in rustic cabins and participating in winter sports was the best part of the trip, according to Spc. J.D. Dunham, 6th Military Police Detachment BOSS representative. The Soldier encouraged his peers to become involved in the program.
"There are a lot of things that BOSS has to offer, from trips to volunteering, and it's all geared toward getting single Soldiers out of the barracks to have fun together," Dunham said. "The more support we get, the more we can do for the Soldiers."
Spc. Brandon Whittier said the best part of the trip was the chance to relax and come back to his job with the 6th MPs refreshed.
Not ones to slack after time off, group members remain visible in the Fort Rucker community in the near future. They will set up the annual Children's Festival Easter egg hunt during the March 27 event, Merle noted.
Those interested in joining BOSS may attend the group's council meetings, held on the third Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m. in Bldg. 6813.
For more information about BOSS, visit www.ftruckermwr.com/BOSS/index.html or call Merle at 255-2677.