Fort Bliss welcomes newcomers with relocation fair

Hundreds attend the 13th Annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Friday. Photos by Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

Hundreds attend the 13th Annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Friday. Photos by Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:

(El Paso, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017)

Every year, new Soldiers, families and civilians relocate to Fort Bliss wanting to know more about the community, schools and health and recreation opportunities, and it has become a tradition for community members to quench that thirst for knowledge.

This year, Fort Bliss held the 13th Annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center on Friday, offering a wide variety of information.

Agencies such as Army Community Service, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and many more set up in this centralized location so newcomers don’t have to go tracking down their support network.

Rachel Miller, 8, left, and Kali Cornejo-Born, 7, participants in the SKIESUnlimited program, perform a Mexican folk dance during the 13th Annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Friday.

Tammy Herrera, a relocation specialist at ACS, said officials put together the event so everyone could have a one-stop shop for information.

The fair is also helpful to those who have been in the area for a while, but don’t know everything available.

“We see a lot of people who have been stationed here for a while, who really don’t know all the wonderful things that Fort Bliss and El Paso have to offer,” Herrera said. “El Paso is a great community and Fort Bliss is a wonderful installation.”

Daryl Stevens, Sr., director, Fort Bliss Army Wellness Center, said the fair is a great opportunity for people integrating into the community to come check out the services offered to them; a lot of services are free for Soldiers and their families.

“Even with our service we provide, people just don’t know we are here and these are services that someone would pay thousands of dollars at a private agency, but the Army Wellness Center is free of charge to Soldiers, dependants and department of defense civilians,” Stevens said.

From left: Master Sgt. Dhias Prasetya, from Indonesia, Master Sgt. Dezxver Melgar, from the Philippines, Master Sgt. Yoshida Masatsugu, from Japan, Master Sgt. Sophie Madigage, from South Africa, and Master Sgt. Rannyai Shadrack, from Botswana, pose for a photo during the 13th Annual Bienvenidos a Bliss Relocation Fair at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center here Friday. The master sergeants are here to attend the U.S. Army Sergeants Majors Academy and came to the fair to learn more about Fort Bliss and El Paso.

Tina Spriggs said she has attended the fair several times.

“I love the fair. I can find a dentist for my kids, the school services offered and it’s all-in-all just a great event to have,” Spriggs said.