By Sgt Lance M Pounds (III Corps)April 23, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Spc. Cher Wheeler, from Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, received the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers volunteer of the year award Apr. 20 at Club Hood. Wheeler was selected for the honor, among more than 300 of her peers, for her hard work and dedication to the program.
BOSS is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing enhanced quality of life, community involvement, opportunities, and recreation and leisure events for single soldiers.
The BOSS volunteer of the year was one of 41 categories listed for the 2012 Volunteer of the Year ceremony, which was hosted by Lt. Gen Donald Campbell Jr., the III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general.
"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And no one knows this more than our volunteers," said Campbell, during his opening speech to the audience.
Wheeler, a native of Round Lake, Ill., joined the program around July 2011 to motivate junior soldiers to make wise life decisions, such as managing finances and seeking educational opportunities and career advancement.
As the BOSS president for the 3rd Cav. Regt., some of Wheeler's duties are to disseminate information to the 54 representatives below her, organize and coordinate fundraisers, and act as the voice for the single soldiers in the unit.
"We can influence change by staying in tune with our soldiers' issues," said Spc. Stephen Collins, from Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Cav. Regt., who added that he was not surprised that Wheeler was awarded.
Wheeler, with the help of her representatives, organized the build and decoration of a haunted Halloween tent, where 3rd Cav. Regt. took second place. She also started a designated driver program within the unit, for which she volunteers her time as a driver.
"I couldn't have done it without the help of my BOSS representatives," said Wheeler, who redirected the spotlight on the soldiers whom she said helped make it happen.
Wheeler is no stranger to hard work. Among her normal duties and volunteering, she still finds the time for college, as she is currently studying for a Masters in Business Administration.
Wheeler said that she attributed her success in the program by treating it as if it were a business, with the goal of meeting the needs of single soldiers.
BOSS and other volunteer programs like it are designed to make a difference in the lives of others, the community, and ultimately, the volunteers themselves.
"A wise man once said, those who can, do; those who can do more, volunteer," said Campbell.