Tropics with a twist: Warrior Zone to offer high-energy entertainment

| September 22, 2011 | 2 Comments
Spc. Rusty Garza, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, shoots pool at the Tropics Recreation Center, Sept. 2, here.

Spc. Rusty Garza, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, shoots pool at the Tropics Recreation Center, Sept. 2, here.

Story and Photos by
Vickey Mouze
Pau Hana Editor

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — “Madden 12,” “NCAA Football 12” and “Modern Warfare” for Xbox 360 and Play Station 3.

3-D TV.

Free Wi-Fi.

Theater recliners to get all comfy and cozy in, while watching movies on the new home theater projector and 16-foot inflatable widescreen.

These items aren’t on a Christmas wish list that a battle-weary Soldier has jotted down for Santa.

Instead, they’re a sampling of what awaits redeployed Soldiers and their battle buddies, either now or in the near future, when they enter the revamped Tropics Recreation Center, here.

Come Oct. 1, when the Tropics Recreation Center reopens as the Tropics Warrior Zone, Schofield Barracks will join other posts like Fort Riley, Kan., and Fort Hood, Texas, which already have Warrior Zones — the latest Soldier-focused morale, welfare and recreation program.

While the Warrior Zone is targeted toward single Soldiers, 18 and older, authorized ID cardholders, including spouses, who are 18 and older, can partake in its offerings.

The Warrior Zone concept was born out of Armywide focus groups designed to find out what types of recreation services and programs single Soldiers wanted.

Sgt. Greg Alvarado, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, plays a video game at the Tropics Recreation Center, Schofield Barracks, Sept. 2.

Sgt. Greg Alvarado, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, plays a video game at the Tropics Recreation Center, Schofield Barracks, Sept. 2.

The Tropics and its past iterations have offered gaming, pool tables, video game systems and other recreational equipment, including a music practice room with guitars, keyboards and other instruments.

Transforming the Tropics into a Warrior Zone brings additional funding to purchase more of everything. Offerings will include a 3-D TV; high-definition TVs; 10 additional PS3s and 10 Xboxes for a total of 30 game systems, including Wii; more gaming and pool tables; and new theater recliners, according to Melania Silva, facility manager, Tropics; Community Recreation Division; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Also, in the near future, the Tropics will offer free Wi-Fi and a mechanical bull.

While the key feature of the Warrior Zone will be its technology, the Tropics will still host community-wide events, such as “Street Dreams,” a car and bike show that will feature single Soldiers’ motorcycles, muscle cars and other rides, Sept. 24, and the “Rocky Horror Show,” in October.

Patrons who want to take a break from video games can go outdoors and play a game of sand volleyball or rent the patio for a barbecue.

Future plans include a monthly “Late Night at the Tropics,” with a deejay on a Friday or Saturday.

“If we see an interest among the Soldiers,” Silva said, “we’ll increase the number of Late Nights.”
Units can still hold military briefings, conferences, hail and farewells, and other military events at the venue.

Family Fun Fridays will move to another location, yet to be determined.

Also, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, will stay headquartered at the Tropics.

“Single Soldier Christmas is one of the biggest events we have here at the Tropics,” Silva added.
Soldiers will be treated to a Christmas meal and presents.

The Tropics snack bar menu will get a makeover, too. Plans are to offer menu items like quesadillas, chicken teriyaki, salmon burgers and meatloaf, according to Aprill Evert, food and beverage manager, Tropics.

“The Tropics team is looking forward to becoming a Warrior Zone to serve our Soldiers,” Silva said. “When the decision was made, it was like, ‘let’s march forward … We got it. … We want it.’ So, the Tropics team is excited, and (team members) just can’t wait.”

Besides offering gaming areas and video games, the Tropics also serves as a venue for special events, such as the Street Dreams Car and Bike Show, 11 a.m., Sept. 24. Active duty Soldiers can enter imports, antique, muscle, unmodified and modified cars, bikes and trucks. Call 655-5698.

Entry fees follow:

  • Cars
    Preregistration, $10; day of show, $15.
  • Bikes
    Preregistration, $5; day of show, $10.

Have an idea about what type of programming you’d like to see at the Tropics? Share your suggestions at 655-6698. Visit www.himwr.com to see the Tropics calendar. Most activities are free, with the exception of special events/programming.

The Tropics is also the home of BOSS, a morale, welfare and recreation program for single Soldiers. Call 655-1130.

Tropics Warrior Zone hours of operation

  • Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tropics Snack Bar hours of operation

  • Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

For NFL Sunday Ticket, doors open at 6:30 a.m., so patrons can purchase breakfast.

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Category: Community, Single Soldiers

Comments (2)

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  1. Gabriela Chavira says:

    Are you all hiring? I hear tropics hires people. Is so how do I apply?

    • haw says:

      You can find Hawaii FMWR information, including Tropics, at http://www.himwr.com/.

      One of the best places to start is USAJobs.gov, where open jobs are listed. If you live on post, why not visit Tropics? Their phone is 655-5698.

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