Single Soldier Fest   

Story and Photos By Erin Rogers, Sentinel Leisure Editor




Fort Hood followed the official start of summer with a day dedicated to its single Soldiers at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area Friday. Fort Hood’s Single Soldier’s Festival provided a day full of activities for single Soldiers and their guests to “Work Hard … Play Hard … Relax Hard …”

The Single Soldier’s Fest program this year was put on by Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and turned out to be a great success.

Spc. Cher Wheeler, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said that Single Soldier’s Fest is the place of duty for Fort Hood’s Soldiers for that day, and that even though the event is required for most of them, this is a lot of fun. Having a duty day like this can never be bad, they are assigned to have “mandatory fun,” she said with a laugh.

Wheeler, who was assigned as executive officer for Single Soldier’s Fest, said she was pleased when III Corps chose 3rd Cav. Regt. to be in charge of the annual event.

“Every year they assign someone different to oversee this event,” she said. “3rd Cavalry Regiment was happy to take on the challenge and make everything go as smoothly as possible.”

Wheeler, also the BOSS president for 3rd Cav. Regt., explained that Single Soldier’s Fest is something BOSS looks forward to planning every year.

She added that BOSS is constantly trying to come up with new ideas to provide events that allow Soldiers to get out of the barracks and involved in activities that are safe and active.

“Single Soldier’s Day is the one day of the year that Fort Hood recognizes its single Soldiers,” she said. “And hosting Single Soldier’s Fest positively adds to the observation.”

BLORA’s many attractions and spacious grounds provided a good spot for the various activities taking place at Single Soldier’s Fest. Although music could be heard in all of the areas designated to the event, there was also a main stage with live performances. The artists that performed at Single Soldier’s Fest included Down Siid, DJ Redd, Felony, Kaboosh, Smackola and A Brand New Machine.

Not far from the main stage was one of the three main food pavilions serving grilled hot dogs and hamburgers with all of the fixings, various types of chips, sides, assorted drinks and plenty of water.

With more than 12,000 in attendance, all three food pavilions were busy, but they were prepared for the large turnout. Soldiers were heading to the shaded picnic tables with plates full of more than they could eat, so there was no food shortage.

Friendly competitions were also held throughout the day, along with access to BLORA’s water attractions. Football, basketball, volleyball and softball games were going on in the morning, all ending in trophies for the first and second place teams.

Smaller just-for-fun competitions were held near BLORA’s Sierra Swimming Beach and included a body-building competition, a strongman competition, tug-of-war, a balloon toss and a balloon race.

Spc. Daniel Taff, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, said he believes the Single Soldier’s Fest is important to both Fort Hood’s single Soldier’s and Fort Hood’s BOSS program.

“This is a good opportunity for BOSS to show what they do for us,” he said. “It’s also important because it shows that the Soldiers are recognized, and we get to get out and do something together all in one huge event.”