June 30, 2013 Updated: July 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm
For most soldiers, beards are against regulation.
But Pfc. Jackie Sorto displayed hers unabashedly one recent afternoon on Fort Carson.
"It's hot out, and we work pretty hard," she said with a giggle, justifying why she and fellow truck driver Pfc. Roger Matamoros were spending their afternoon in a gigantic inflatable pool filled with white, frothy bubbles.
She batted her beard off her face before fashioning a bubble mohawk on Matamoros' head and a bubble bikini top on his chest.
The friends were among nearly 100 who attended Single Soldier Day, held June 20 at Fort Carson's Iron Horse Park.
The event was sponsored by the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program, which organizes frequent opportunities for Army bachelors and bachelorettes to do such things as bowl, play paintball, visit area attractions and volunteer their time.
The afternoon celebration offered unattached troops a chance to chow down on "meat on a stick" and ribbon fries, play sand volleyball and race each other on broken toilets fashioned into scooters.
By releasing single soldiers for the afternoon to attend the event, commanders showed their compassionate side, said Spc. Anthony Castillo, a medic and the president of the organization.
Married soldiers are sometimes released to take care of sick kids and spouses, but single soldiers are rarely released, he said.
"This lets them enjoy life," he said of the event.
Staff Sgt. Senobin Smith showed up at the festival with his 9-month-old son, Adonis, in tow.
"It's an opportunity for soldiers to get out of the office, to meet other single soldiers," said Smith, a supply soldier attached to the 10th Special Forces Group.
"These little events get single soldiers outside of their rooms, where they sometimes drink and play video games. This lets them come outside to enjoy the weather."
Smith, also known as DJ Technique, had another motivation for joining the fun.
"I was hoping he might let me spin," Smith added with a smile as he nodded toward a DJ.
A few feet away, troops danced as DJ Tei 1013, a soldier himself, spun techno tracks under a park pavilion.
As the music played, Spc. Alexander Trujillo, an ammunition support specialist, pumped his fist in the air and shuffled his bright red tennis shoes to the beat.
He and his buddies thought the "little shindig" would be a good chance to relax and take a break from training.
In January, the group arrived back on U.S. soil after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Soon, they'll head back again, he said.
"This is a good chance to bond."