MILITARY MATTERS: BOSS helping single soldiers

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - Sometimes, troops need a break from all the marching and saluting.

That's why the Army created the BOSS program. BOSS stands for Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, and the guy in charge at Fort Benning is Specialist Salah Al Hakim.

"It's to get the soldiers out and have them experience some fun and recreation leisure, and they're able to take this time off away from work. It counts toward their resiliency training."

New soldiers have one thing in mind after entering the Army, getting through basic training. Once that's done, they like to learn more about the community around them, and adapt to their new career.

That's where folks like Bridgett Siter come in handy. She works with Fort Benning's Directorate of Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation. "We don't want them sitting alone in their barracks or sitting in Columbus in an apartment when there are so many activities for them. It's difficult enough to reach them on post, but now we're reaching out to those single soldiers off-post and telling them what this program is all about."

Troops are encouraged to do volunteer work. PFC Robert Dietz has chosen to decorate the walls of the Kelley Hill Recreation Center with logos of the units which use the facility. "Well, this is actually my idea. I brought it up, me and the owner, with Miss Aubrey, one of the managers. She thought it would be a good idea, and I mean, I have the talent to do it so why not?"

As he works, other soldiers chill out on the pool tables. We asked Private Donnie Nabritt how often he comes to the center. "Mostly every day. You can get on computer, play games, pool. You know stuff like that."

In addition to the extracurricular stuff, a town hall meeting has been planned next month. Al Hakim calls it "an opportunity for the soldiers to interact with the colonel and the command sergeant major, one on one, and to bring up any issue that they have in a very relaxed environment."