By Karl Weisel, USAG WiesbadenDecember 29, 2010
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Wiesbaden Soldiers helped put smiles on the faces of young cancer patients at Mainz University, Dec. 7. Several members of Wiesbaden's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program stopped by the Mainz cancer center to hand out holiday goodies and to spend time with the young patients.
"This is the third time we've done this," said Steve Eclavea, BOSS adviser, explaining that Wiesbaden BOSS got involved in the annual project after Eclavea's wife, Ursula, herself a cancer survivor, suggested the project and made the initial contacts with the Mainz Hospital.
"I was in the clinic getting treatment and one of the doctor's suggested the visits," said Ursula Eclavea.
"This event is a highly worthwhile way to start off the holidays," said Steve Eclavea. "It's been a very successful event with great interest by the BOSS members. It touched many of the BOSS members' hearts."
Because doctors didn't want to overwhelm the children with visitors, the BOSS delegation was limited to six Soldiers, including U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Prince.
"The doctors thanked the BOSS members for bringing candy and toys," said Steve Eclavea, adding that fundraisers such as the recent Halloween Haunted House and other events helped generate funds to purchase goodies for the children. "The kids used what little English they had to say thanks."
BOSS members were also headed to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Dec. 10, to share the holidays with wounded warriors.
"We wanted to give them Christmas cards and thank them personally for their service - go one-on-one with them and share our thoughts,"said Steve Eclavea.
The Landstuhl visit was another Wiesbaden BOSS tradition.
"A lot of people are knocking down our door to get involved," said Steve Eclavea. "There's a lot of interest in the programs we are doing such as ice skating, visits to the Christmas markets and bowling parties. We want to get Soldiers out of the barracks over the holidays."
The BOSS adviser added that single Soldiers can play a role in introducing new programs in the community - such as BOSS's Commissary shuttle bus, among other programs.