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MILITARY MATTERS: Program offers excursions for adventure-seeking troops

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A number of soldiers at Ft. Benning, GA planned a ski trip this weekend in east Tennessee. 

Too bad it's not going to happen. 

"Unfortunately the weather hasn't really cooperated with us", says Brittany Beadle, who organizes out-of-town excursions for the troops. "We haven't really had a cold winter, so we will be rescheduling our ski trip from this weekend to Presidents Day weekend."

The Gatlinburg trip and others like it are put together by the Army's Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The group works closely with the BOSS program, which stands for Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.

BOSS President, Sgt. Timothy Tant, knows the value of such activities.

"It's real important for the soldiers to get out and venture into the communities", said Tant. "They need to realize there's a lot more to Fort Benning than just their barracks room."

The group's vice-president, Specialist Leann Kraus, agrees, and she speaks from first-hand experience.

"When I joined the military", said Kraus. "I had no idea what BOSS was and when I got in there, the BOSS rep from my company was able to tell us everything that was going on, and it made barracks life a lot better."

MWR's Outdoor Recreation Division uses a minibus for the excursions, which has taken soldiers across the Southeast. They've traveled to Tennessee, Florida and other parts of Georgia.

The troops have gone whitewater rafting, ridden a zip line, even taken in a baseball game in Atlanta.

Beadle says they will continue to push the envelope.

"As an adventure-seeker myself, I think these trips are important", said Beadle. "Because it introduces people to new things that they've never done. They just want to try everything new, and we offer it in a safe environment."

They also offer deep discounts. The BOSS program will cover the first $50 of the Tennessee trip, which is nothing to shake a ski pole at.

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