BOSS soldiers congregate, make connections at crawfish boil

Published 9:07 am Thursday, May 18, 2023

By Angie Thorne | Public Affairs Office

FORT POLK — The chance to enjoy a little Louisiana culture in the form of a crawfish boil was more than Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers members could resist. BOSS hosted the boil and single soldiers showed up in force to enjoy every step of the process from cleaning the crawfish to eating the spicy, boiled little crustaceans April 22 at the Home of Heroes Recreation Center.

Sgt. Sydney Alexis Secours, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment BOSS representative and a Louisiana native, commandeered an extra propane burner and also made a quick gumbo to appease appetites until the crawfish was done.

“We are giving them (BOSS Soldiers) the full Louisiana treatment with gumbo and crawfish. I think, depending on where they are from, some of the soldiers might be overwhelmed by the food we are asking them the try. It’s probably way out of their comfort zone, but I have no doubt they will love it,” said Secours. “Food brings people together. The soldiers have worked together to clean and prep the crawfish, chopped food for the gumbo, learned how to use a propane burner and gotten tips about how to cook both dishes.”

When they weren’t watching the crawfish boil in real time, the soldiers were playing football and cornhole on a bright, sunny day.

“It’s about being together and having a good time,” said Secours.

Spc. Kevin West, BOSS president, said the crawfish boil was about taking care of single soldiers outside of a field environment.

“This is a chance they wouldn’t normally have to meet other single Soldiers and make friends. It’s really a community event that gets them out of the barracks and gives them an opportunity to communicate with each other,” West said.

There were also representatives at the boil from organizations across post such as unit BOSS representatives, the Protect program, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention and more to interact on a one-on-one basis with Soldiers.

“That’s a benefit to soldiers because it brings them into contact with people they might need if something happens,” West said. “This way they already know the person and might not be as intimidated to ask for help.”

Spc. Diane Santos, BOSS representative for Medical Department Activity, attended the event because she would like to get more MEDDAC Soldiers involved in BOSS and because she loves crawfish.

“I would eat tons of it! We are at Fort Polk and it’s part of the culture here. I enjoy sharing that with other Soldiers. BOSS works really hard to organize events like this to make sure single soldiers have a place to meet other single Soldiers and have fun,” Santos said. “If I hadn’t come out to the boil today, I would have missed out on a great time. I want to encourage Soldiers that aren’t part of BOSS to get involved and give it a try.”

Pfc. Steven McCurdy, 115th Field Hospital, 32nd Hospital Center, stopped by the crawfish boil because he is new to Fort Polk and wanted see what BOSS was all about.

“I really like it here so far. The people are fantastic and the food is delicious. I’ve never had Cajun food before. I love it. The spices are wonderful,” said McCurdy.

Events like this help bring people together.

“Part of what BOSS does is support the physical, financial and emotional needs of our Soldiers.” West said.

For more information about BOSS, call 337-531-1948/5540.