Since the Civil War, the Armed Services YMCA has sought to improve morale for American soldiers.
On March 14, that tradition continues through a collaboration with Fort Gordon's Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers' program.
"If a base needs something and it's legal and moral, we fit the bill," said Frank Gallo, the national director of the Armed Services YMCA, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The YMCA joined with the two organizations to augment the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers' headquarters with a staffed Internet cafe.
"They donated computers for our Internet cafe," said Sgt. Christina Powers, the outgoing Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers' president.
In addition, the YMCA will pay for the staff to operate the facility that will be open from 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday and 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Spc. Rheutelia Williams, the coordinator for the single soldiers' program, said the collaboration had been in the works since September.
Spc. Williams said there are few places on the Army post for unmarried military members to use computers after work. Short-term students on post have their own Internet cafe; however, soldiers stationed at the fort cannot use the facility because of fraternization policies.
Woodworth Library has computers, but it is not open seven days a week.
The newly reopened site also will be beneficial to National Guard and Reservists who might be on post and not have access to computers and the Internet, Spc. Williams said.
The site features other recreational opportunities such as billiards and cable television. Pay-per-view TV events will be scheduled in the future, she said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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