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NEWS | Feb. 8, 2012

Programs provide single military members recreational opportunities

By Senior Airman Ian Hoachlander 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Charleston now offers two programs directed toward serving single and unaccompanied military members in order to provide a variety of recreational programs designed to meet the needs and interests of the military community.

The Air Force Single Airman Initiative Program and Navy Liberty Program are available to single military members to help instill confidence in junior members and introduce them to new recreational opportunities which might not otherwise be made available.

The goal of these programs is to provide resources to build camaraderie and create a strong sense of community for single military members.

"The Liberty Program first began as a result of the 1987 Master Chiefs Morale, Welfare and Recreation Symposium," explained Amanda Young, JB Charleston Weapon Station's Liberty Program manager. "There were many programs offered for families and retirees, but none existed to meet the unique needs of the single military members between the ages of 18 to 25."

The Single Airman Program was initiated in January based on feedback from the 2011 Caring For People forum, which provided Air Force members an opportunity to express their opinions on quality of life issues via an online survey.

According to Eryn Pope, JB Charleston Air Base's Single Airman Program manager, the Single Airman Program is focused on four core areas to include Wi-Fi, creating new programs, purchasing equipment and setting up life skills classes.

"These programs are set up to reach out to a target demographic which are underserved," said Pope. "Our goal is to keep service members from getting bored and becoming unhappy. In order to help make military members more resilient and help members bounce back from any depression they feel, we need to spread the word about our program to gain base-wide interest."

Both programs offer trips, themed events, classes and tournaments tailored to a variety of demographics. Events include skydiving trips, river tubing trips, overnight trips to Universal Studios Orlando and Zombie Apocalypse Paintball Wars.

The Single Airman and Liberty Programs coordinate events and activities through suggestions and feedback from service members around the base. With funding approved by leadership based on requests from service members, trips are available to eligible individuals at low to no cost.

"Along with the events we offer, the Liberty Program also offers a free Liberty Lounge," explained Erin Venditti, the Liberty Program's assistant manager. "At this lounge service members can check their e-mail and Facebook page on our computers or bring their laptops while taking advantage of free Wi-Fi. The Liberty Lounge also offers members a chance to play video games on an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3."

The Liberty Lounge, located on the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command campus next to the galley, also has equipment available to play pool, ping pong watch movies or even record their own music in a recording studio, which includes an electronic drum-set, keyboard, acoustic guitars, bass guitars with a multi-effect pedal and more. All items are available to check-out for free.

The Single Airman Program and Liberty Program intend to meet the various interests of service members around the base to let them pursue their favorite activities. There are several ways for military members to find further information or make suggestions to each program.

For service members interested in receiving more information about the Air Base's Single Airman Program visit, or contact Eryn Pope at 963-8815. For information on the Weapon Station's Liberty Program, e-mail the Liberty staff at or call the Liberty Lounge at 637-8929.