The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart plays a vital role in providing quality of life, recreation and leisure activities to service members that are single and unaccompanied. But it isn’t just for Army Soldiers.
Since the Stuttgart military community is home to not only the U.S. Army, but the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well, the BOSS program is open to service members in all branches.
The program is funded by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
“We help out with the MWR activities like the flea markets, the Winterfest and other special events,” said Steve Dunlap, BOSS program advisor. “We run concession stands that generate income for the organization.”
“The funds made from these events go back to the BOSS program, so once or twice a year the program can fund trips, like the one we are planning right now — a ski trip to Obersdorf,” he added.
BOSS members only pay a minimum fee to go on these trips, since they are virtually paid for by the income generated during the year. It’s one reason why Spc. Mike Votta, now the USAG Stuttgart BOSS President, joined. “I wanted to meet people, travel and get involved within the community,” he said.
BOSS also provides community service to others.
On Oct. 13, BOSS members handed out water bottles to Soldiers in the 208th Financial Management Company as they returned from a 12-month deployment to Kuwait.
On Oct. 23, the BOSS program will be involved in the Make a Difference Day program, sponsored by Army Community Service. BOSS members plan to make a difference at the Medical Transient Unit, part of the Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, along with members of the German-American Kontakt Club.
BOSS and Kontakt, as well as other units, are collecting items to donate to the MTU for injured service members flown in from down range.
“This is not all we do for Landstuhl, however,” Dunlap said. “Every few months, we go to the Landstuhl USO to cook meals for the Wounded Warriors up there. We feed them home-cooked meals, talk to them and just spend time [with them].
“This is important because a lot of the service members there have never been to Europe. They are injured down range and then come to Germany to recuperate. Some of them feel lost. We want to make sure that they feel cared for.”
The BOSS program has been growing in USAG Stuttgart, so a new meeting place was deemed necessary.
“The Department of the Army just funded a Warrior Zone on Patch Barracks, situated in the newly renovated food court,” Dunlap said. “There, our members will be able to use the Internet, have access to different gaming systems, and enjoy a separate movie room.”
“With the convenience of being located directly adjacent to the foot court all bases have been covered,” he added.
The tentative opening date for the Warrior Zone is March 2011.
BOSS meets on the second and last Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. in the current BOSS Lounge, located in Building 2331 on Patch Barracks. Meetings are open to all interested service members.