Fort Bragg is home to tens-of-thousands of unmarried, unaccompanied or single parent service members. One way the Army ensures this very large group of service members is well-taken care of is through the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, program.

BOSS helps support the quality of life for single and unaccompanied Soldiers at Fort Bragg by offering recreational activities, community service initiatives and is a channel for troops to provide recommendations to leadership to improve quality of life at the installation.

During BOSS meetings, quality of life issues that can enhance Soldiers’ morale, living environment, or personal growth and development are discussed. Issues raised during meetings are directed to the appropriate command or staff agency or forwarded to the Army Family Action Plan program.

The program also organizes a variety of recreation and leisure events that many times include transportation and are free or are offered at a minimal cost.

Events and activities have included dodgeball, zombie paintball, rock climbing, zip lining and shopping excursions.

The next recreational event is BOSS dodgeball, Dec. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Hosking Gym. The event is free and open to all single service members.

Additionally, the program offers service members the opportunity to serve the surrounding communities through volunteer efforts such as volunteering at the Leilani Mae Horse Rescue and volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The next community service event is helping to feed the homeless at the Salvation Army, Nov. 23, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Transportation is provided. To sign up, call the BOSS office at 396-7751.

The BOSS program also sponsors the annual Trees for Troops program, which provides free Christmas trees to active-duty service members who are staff sergeant and below.

The program will give out 400 vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis starting Nov. 28, at 10 a.m., at Leisure Travel Services. The trees can be picked up Dec. 2, from 8 to 10 a.m., at Smith Lake Recreation Area. For more information about Trees to Troops, call 396-7751.

Anyone interested in learning more about BOSS, can stop by their building, located on Butner Road inside the First Citizens Bank building, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The BOSS center also has a variety of amenities like gaming systems, TVs, pinball, games and movie rooms.

Visit www.bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/better-opportunities-single-soldiers or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fortbraggboss/, to get information on upcoming events.

(If you have a question about the military or Fort Bragg you would like me to answer, email me at mankelg@theparaglide.com.)