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Morale, Welfare and Recreation

By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000

Sarajevo - Falling under the United States Department of the Army-US Department of Defence, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) supports its troops where they are stationed.
MWR is set up to promote physical fitness, build morale and cohesion, enhance quality of life and provide quality programs and activities for the troops. Since last spring, Lillian Quehl, has been the coordinator in Sarajevo and Alex Hall, the property coordinator, assists her.
"Our programming goal is designed to relieve stress, improve social skills and develop team building among the troops," explained Quehl.
MWR runs activities like tours and trips, concerts, sport tournaments, dances, instructional classes, etc, and everybody in SFOR is invite to participate in them.
Their program includes the Bon Appetit International Dining Club every Wednesday where soldiers can enjoy different cousines like a gourmet dinner in Sarajevo; the Toastmaster's International Club on Sundays with the goal of improving the communication skill of everyone; aerobic sessions everyday except Tuesdays and Saturdays, and the Chess International Club every Thursday.
They offer a number of facilities in Butmir like the Peace Keeper's Pavilion, also named the Fest Tent, with a complete Fitness Center, basketball and volleyball courts, a concert stage and others activities like a TV/Video Room, pool table, a board games area, a library, and a video and equipment lending desk. This facility may be used by anyone in SFOR, just like the last German celebration of Octoberfest.
Also, they also have a very interesting Cyber Café, also named the Cyber Hut, equipped with computers with Internet access and several DSN telephones which links cities with American Bases.
"With the Cyber Hut we have greatly improved the morale of the troops because they contact their loved ones on a regular basis through the internet which include a video-conference service," stressed Quehl.
There is also the dayroom, with pool, ping pong and fusball tables, televisions and books, newspapers and magazines.
Their current three-month programme, until next Christmas, consists of music concerts of various sorts like Patty Booker, who plays country and western, and others bands playing rock, pop and rhythm and blues, variety and comedy shows, and more activities relating to Halloween, like the costume party and pumpkin carving contest Oct. 28.
Also, a Bazaar and Fashion Show will take place Oct. 27. It will be sponsored by MWR in conjunction with Morale, Welfare and Activities (MWA) and the Army and Air Forces Exchanges Services (AAFES). As the models, MWR would like to recruit soldiers.
For every activity, Quehl said she counts on many volunteers to make things happen.
"Our American collaborator Master Sgt. Lola Cohens-Ashley, has been nominated the MWR Volunteer of the Quarter for providing aerobics classes and assisting in all special events," said Quehl.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: US