Beating the heat with a dip in the pool, Fort Hood’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program hosted its annual midnight pool party Friday at Patton Pool.

More than 30 single Soldiers attended the event, which included games, prize giveaways, a lot of water and something fun to do on a Friday night. Spc. Zack Smiley, BOSS president, said he also encouraged newcomers to Fort Hood to come out and meet new people.

“Most importantly is to just find other people to hang out with on the weekends,” Smiley said. “Basically, trying to get them out of the barracks.”

Pvt. Sergio Hernandez, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regt., 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is new to Fort Hood and said he’s happy the installation provides events like this for the single Soldiers, because it helps them meet new people. It also helps Soldiers find out about activities in the surrounding communities.

“BOSS has a lot of opportunities for them to come out, hang out, make friends and get involved in their community and Fort Hood,” Smiley said.

Spc. Dale Dippre, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., has been involved in the BOSS program for a while and said he believes these kinds of events help alleviate a lot of stress and depression in Soldiers.

“A lot of Soldiers just sit in the barracks because they don’t know about these events,” Dippre said. “It’s not good for them.”

Instead, Dippre wants units to encourage their single Soldiers to attend events, such as the BOSS-related events, as a way to keep them happy and motivated during their time at Fort Hood.

Another BOSS event coming up is an 8-Ball Pool Tournament. The event will take place at 6 p.m. today at BOSS Headquarters, Bldg. 3202, located at 72nd Street and Battalion Avenue.

BOSS will host its annual Single Soldier Fest from noon to 5 p.m., Sept. 27 at Hood Stadium. Thousands of Soldiers usually attend the festival, which is designd to build espirit de corps among single and unaccompanied Soldiers. The event will feature activities, team building events, contests, lunch and more.

For more information about the BOSS program, there is a meeting at 2 p.m. today at BOSS Headquarters. For information about upcoming events, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortHoodBOSSProgram or call 254-287-6116.