By Kimberly Gearhart, USAG Schweinfurt Public AffairsJune 2, 2008
SCHWEINFURT, Germany - The U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt's Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers program, recognized for focusing on the needs of troops as well as the entire community, was recently named the best in Europe.
Overall, the organization was noted for its innovative programming, drive for community involvement and focus on Soldier wellness and recreation.
Schweinfurt BOSS also took second place in the event category for the "This One's For You" series, which ran monthly from September 2007 through March 2008.
"TOFU was one project in our larger reintegration program," said BOSS president Pvt. Justin Holt, adding that the series included recreational activities, games and concerts.
Additionally, "Several agencies - like the Army Community Service and Army Substance Abuse Program - gave classes on budgeting, alcohol awareness, and reconnecting with your friends and families," Holt said.
The TOFU initiative, though presented by BOSS, was open to all Soldiers who believe they need help in adjusting to life after war.
"This program was designed to help ... deal with reintegration and combat stress in a healthy, fun-filled way," said Silvia Joiner, who acts as an advisor to BOSS from the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program.
Holt noted that TOFU's approach is a more relaxed type of environment than normal post-deployment briefings Soldiers receive with their units. "A lot of times, [participants] are more comfortable speaking up and asking questions than they would be with their command there," he explained.
Although the TOFU series is complete, the BOSS program in Schweinfurt remains in full swing. Each battalion has a representative and most have a centralized information board to post events, advertise contact information and accept suggestions.
"We [usually] meet on the first Tuesday and the last Thursday of the month," Holt said, adding that representatives are encouraged to bring along unit members.
"This organization is about Soldiers, and Soldiers need to help us make it happen," he said.
Holt stressed that the program is a volunteer - not a "voluntold" - organization that counts on Soldiers who are interested in and excited about the changing face of BOSS to make the program successful.