News: Service members … Relax!
Story by Sgt. Jasmine Higgins
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Uniforms neatly on and boots tied tight, once a service member puts on the outfit for the day its all work and no play. Service members are expected to follow strict schedules and perform demanding tasks all by adhering to the guidelines and procedures set before them day to day.
Well it’s safe to say that on Aug. 7, all work and no play, was definitely not the slogan or case on Joint Base Lewis-McChord thanks to the Better Opportunities for Single Service members’ program which hosted the Single Service Member Block Party.
BOSS is a program designed to enhance the quality of life and morale of single service members, according to Jennifer Helm, BOSS President. “It’s about taking the boots off to have a good time and relax,” said Helm. “Getting away from the regimented day to day life of the Army and building that morale.”
The Single Service Member Block Party was an all-day free event that hosted many tournaments and activities for attendees to benefit from with the intent on raising the morale of service members.
“It gives the Soldiers morale,” exclaimed Army Staff Sgt. Crystal Gunn, career counselor with 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division. “We work hard … We deploy … So you have to give the Soldiers the opportunity to mingle with other Soldiers in other units. So this is a great opportunity to elevate morale, therefore Soldiers can relax a little bit.”
Service members were able to compete against one another for prizes in raffles, dance-offs, car-shows, game’s of pool, “Call of Duty” and more. “We have over $12,000 in prizes and giveaways ranging from Xbox One bundles, Oakleys, gift cards, and a lot of recreation and leisure items,” said Helm.
The block party, which cost more than $35,000 generated from sponsors, according to Helm, had activities for people of all walks-of-life to enjoy. Service members could take their chances conquering a towering rock climbing wall or cool off by racing down a gigantic inflated waterslide.
“They have everything here including a mechanical bull, which I plan on riding,” said Gunn.
The Single Service Member Block Party is one of many events that the BOSS program hosts for service members to take advantage of and enjoy, and is expected to be back the same time and date next year.
“It’s all about letting the service member take advantage of our giveaways and all the things we have to offer which builds their morale, thus supporting the Army’s overall mission,” exclaimed Helm.