Bliss Happenings October 19, 2017

Bliss Briefs: (El Paso, Texas, Oct. 19, 2017)

Reassignment and passport office: The reassignment and passport office is closed, except for emergency purposes only, until Nov. 13. All emergencies will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 568-5600 or (808) 285-4938

Community Gift Wrap: Fort Bliss volunteer groups can raise money and spread some holiday cheer this season by establishing a partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service during its annual community gift-wrap program. As part of the program, the Fort Bliss Exchange sets up tables and provides supplies that community volunteer groups can use to wrap gifts during the busy holiday shopping season in exchange for donations. Interested organizations can contact the Fort Bliss Exchange at 562-8851, ext. 107.

Federal employees: The Federal Employees Health Benefits Health Fair is from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, Bldg. 11199 Sergeants Major Blvd., in the Abilene Corner. Sponsored by the Desert Mountain Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, the fair will feature representatives from health carriers who can answer questions and distribute materials for the 2018 health insurance open season. No appointment is necessary.

Trick-or-Treating on post: Fort Bliss residents should enjoy a safe, fun night and celebrate Halloween right here on post. Halloween trick-or-treating takes place from 6-8 p.m. Motorists should anticipate some road closures in housing areas from 5:30-8 p.m.

Legal office closure: The Fort Bliss Legal Assistance and Claims Offices, located on the first floor of Bldg. 113 on Pershing Road, will close at 2 p.m. Oct. 31 to facilitate early release of military for Halloween family activities and to promote safety by minimizing vehicular traffic prior to the commencement of post-wide trick-or-treating.

Fort Bliss Holiday Bazaar: The Fort Bliss Holiday Bazaar is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 4 and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Trading Post, 1717 Marshall Road. The event features more than 100 vendors selling items that include food, antiques and arts and crafts. Open to the public. Hosted by the Fort Bliss NCO Wives Club.

Veterans Day Ceremony: The Fort Bliss Veterans Day Ceremony, honoring those who have and are currently serving, will be at the 1st Armored Division Parade Field, 9 a.m. Nov. 9. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Open to the public. 744-0405

Castner Range meeting: Fort Bliss and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials are conducting a public meeting to discuss the Closed Castner Range Remedial Investigation. Meeting is free and open to the public. It is in the Theater Room at Chapin High School, 7000 Dyer St., at 6 p.m. Nov. 7. For more information, visit https://www.bliss.army.mil/dpw/environmental/index.html.

DHR training holiday: The Directorate of Human Resources will have a Labor Day training holiday and will have reduced operations Nov. 9; will be closed Nov. 10; and will open for normal operations Nov. 13. The points of contact are: Military Personnel Division at 568-3302; ASAP at 744-5192, 744-5148 or 744-5149; the Administrative Services Division at 569-5817; the Education Center at 568-6682 or 568-6831; the SFL-TAP at 568-7165, 568-7396, 568-4210, 568-7996 or 568-3870. For emergencies during closure call 568-3093.

Parent workshops: William Beaumont Army Medical Center Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services is presenting a series of parent workshops. “Intervention for Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Abuse” is from 10 a.m.-noon Nov. 8 at the Family Readiness Center, 250 Club Road; and “Healthy Coping Strategies for Parents during the Holidays,” is from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 at the FRC. Contact Lashonda Bogan, outreach coordinator, at lashonda.d.bogan.civ@mail.mil or 742-5023 to RSVP or ask questions.

ICE comments: Use your voice and tell us how we are doing. Fort Bliss has an outlet available so you can let us know how we are doing. That outlet is the Interactive Customer Evaluation program and it is available online at http://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=site&site_id=435. This is a tool we use to help us improve the services provided to you. Use it for negative and positive comments. You can remain anonymous or you can list your contact information. Listing your contact information allows us to provide you feedback.

Stop smoking: If you are ready to quit smoking, call the Fort Bliss Tobacco Cessation Program at 742-1343 to enroll in classes. The classes are at the Soldier Family Care Center and Mendoza Clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. Walk-ins are welcome. This class is free to DOD civilian employees of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, active-duty personnel and their spouses and retirees who are Tricare beneficiaries. There are four sessions to complete the program and each session is one hour and a half long.

Fire Marshal Training: Fire marshal training is from 9-10 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month at Bldg. 11240, Staff Sgt. Sims St. No appointment necessary. Open to all Fort Bliss employees, military or civilian. 744-8194 or 744-8195

Veterinary Treatment Facility: The Fort Bliss Veterinary Treatment Facility offers appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pet owners can schedule wellness exams, microchip implantation, heartworm tests, nail trims, recheck exams, inoculations against rabies, distemper (parvo) and Bordetella, sick calls and feline leukemia tests. The facility is located at Bldg. 6077 Carter Road, past Desert Strike Lanes. 742-2266

Changing stations: When changing stations, see In/Out Processing for permanent change of station clearing papers 10 business days before your PCS leave starts. Clearing papers are issued Monday-Friday 8:30-11:30 a.m. in at In/Out Processing, Bldg. 505, Room 133A. Be in duty uniform with ID card and bring a copy of the following: completed installation PAC slip (see your S1 or levy brief packet for a copy); PCS orders; DA 31 (signed with control number); DD 93 (digitally signed) PSDR units only; SGLV (digitally signed), PSDR units only; and DA 137-1 unit clearance record. PSDR units include 1st AD, all BCTs, 1st AD STB, 1st AD CAB, 11th Bde., 204th MI, 212th FA, 31st CSH, 86th Sig. and 93rd MP. 568-2482, 568-2728, 568-3145, 568-6120, 568-7714 or 569-7348, 7369

Unit Book Kits: Are you part of a unit going into the field or deploying soon? If so, you can stop by the Mickelsen Community Library and pick up book kits for free. The kits contain a selection of popular fiction and nonfiction paperback items. 568-1902

FMWR

Planning and Budgeting: Struggling to find a way to balance your expenses with your income? Don’t let your finances run your life. It’s time to set up a budget you can live with and build a plan to financial freedom. Class is at the Army Community Service building, 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss, from 1:30-3 p.m. Friday. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Brushstrokes: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 2-5 p.m. Saturday for their social art class. This month’s theme for the club is “Halloween Hill.” The class is open to DOD ID cardholders ages 10 and older. Registration is required. Space is limited to 10 participants; the fee is $15 and it includes all supplies as well as instruction. 568-6156

Car Buying, the Smart Way: Are you interested to discover the top-10 car dealer tricks and how to avoid them? Learn best time to buy a car. Discover all auto finance options. Identify what are the costs to consider as a car owner. Review internet tools and resource guides. Class is at the Army Community Service building, 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss, from 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Trick or Treat through the FRC: Families will be able to trick or treat their way through the Family Resilience Center from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at 250 Club Road. There will be family activities, such as pumpkin decorating, and themed family costumes will win prizes as long as supplies last (costumes are strongly encouraged). Human Resources will be available to update DD93 and SGLIs while the children are participating in the activities. It’s open to DOD ID cardholders. 568-6879

TSP the New Blended Retirement: Are you ready to make a decision for your financial future? BRS or Legacy System? Learn to understand the components, rules and timeline of the Blended Retirement System. Discover how matching contributions work. Be aware of tools, references, factsheets and resource guides. Class will be held at the Army Community Service building, 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss, from 1:30-3 p.m. Oct. 27. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Make a Difference Day: Join Army Volunteer Corps as they give back to the community Oct. 28. Projects vary, but all represent a need that can be filled by you. For more information, contact the Army Volunteer Corps at 569-5500. To register, visit bliss.armymwr.com and search, “Army Volunteer Corps.”

Credit Repair: Have you recently reviewed your credit score? Thinking about buying a car or home in the near future but not sure how your credit is postured to get you the best terms? Then it’s time to take a Credit Repair Class at Army Community Service, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss from 1:30-3 p.m. Nov. 8. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Paint N’ Pour: The Library After Hours presents: Paint N’ Pour, a social painting class. Get together with friends and paint an acrylic masterpiece in a staff-led class from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 3 at Mickelsen Community Library. This month’s theme is “Stacked Pumpkins.” Cost is $20, it includes supplies, instruction and one glass of wine. Wear appropriate clothing for painting. Space is limited to 12 participants, so hurry and reserve your spot. Payment is due when you place reservations, cash only. It is open to DOD ID cardholders, 21 and older. 568-1902

Banking & Money Management: Did you know that all banking institutions are not equal? Discover how to find the right bank for you. Learn to protect your money. Discover unique military banking benefits. It’s the matter of your money. Class is at Army Community Service, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss, from 1:30-3 p.m. Nov. 10. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Right Arm Night: Fort Bliss, are you ready for free appetizers and great drink specials? If so, stop by the Pershing Pub from 4-9 p.m. Nov. 17 during Right Arm Night. This is a great event to unwind after a long week. 781-6809

Brushstrokes: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 2-5 p.m. Nov. 18 for their social art class. This month’s theme for the club is “Birch Trees.” The class is open to DOD ID cardholders ages 10 and older. Registration is required. Space is limited to 10 participants. Cost: $15 and it includes all supplies as well as instruction. 568-6156

Go Youth

Day of the Dead: Do you have a child age 8 or older who likes to be creative? Join SKIESUnlimited at 5 p.m. today, Oct. 19, to paint a Day of the Dead ceramic skull box and ornament at the Art and Hobby Shop, 820 Marshall Road. Children will also enjoy watching the movies “Book of Life” as they paint their ceramics. Children must be registered with CYS. Cost: $20 per person and registration is required. Register at 131 Doniphan Road. 568-5544

EFMP Spooky S’mores: All Exceptional Family Member Program and Hearts Apart Families, join Army Community Service for Spooky S’mores from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at ACS, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road. There will be s’mores and a bounce house for the little ones. Remember to bring a blanket and your family’s favorite picnic basket dinner to enjoy, while watching the movie, “Casper.” Registration is required and can be done online at www.bliss.armymwr.com. Search “spooky s’mores.” 569-4227, ext. 5

Monster Bash: Celebrate Halloween with monstrous family fun. This is the area’s biggest and best Halloween event. This year’s theme is “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Get ready for inflatables, activities, crafts and entertainment from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 27-28 at the Trading Post. It’s not Halloween without a fright night. There will be three haunted houses for you to choose from: “Barely Scary,” entry is $1; “Kinda Scary,” entry is $2; and “Massacre on Marshall Road,” entry is discounted to $3 for this event only. 588-8247

Haunted Pumpkin Patch: Come enjoy ghost stories by the fire, face painting and hunt for pumpkins at the Haunted Pumpkin Patch, from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Old Fort Bliss Replica. The pumpkins are $5 each and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis (limit two per family). 588-8482

Floating Pumpkin Patch: This isn’t your typical pumpkin patch. Enjoy bobbing for pumpkins (limit two per family) in the pool. The event is from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Aquatics Training Center. It’s open to the first 100 DOD ID cardholders. Swim fees do apply. 741-5901

Halloween Boo-ling Party: Get ready to have a boo-ling good time at Desert Strike Lanes for their annual Halloween Boo-ling Party from noon-3 p.m. Oct. 28 and take advantage of lots of spooktacular fun. There will be goodie bags and cake while supplies last and a costume contest for children ages 1-16. Party goers can also enjoy $1 candies and $1.50 games and slushies from noon-3 p.m. and $2 games from 6-10 p.m. If you want some family friendly Halloween fun, this is the place to be. 568-6272

Chapel Next: Chapel Next will hold a Church in the Park event at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 29 at Biggs Park, 11388 Sergeant Major Blvd. The event will include bounce houses, food and games. Organizers encourage youths to come in costume and invite their friends.

Youth Turkey Trot 5K: The Youth Sports Plex will host the Youth Turkey Trot 5K from 9 -11 a.m. Nov. 4 at the Youth Sports Plex, located at Bldg. 195 Chaffee Road. Registration is required and can be done at the Youth Sports Plex, no later than 8:45 a.m. day of event. Check in will be at 8 a.m. It’s free to all DOD ID cardholders ages 10 to high school. 568-2617

Builder’s Club: Join us for the Builder’s Club Oct. 28 at Mickelsen Community Library and create things with your imagination. There will be two sessions available from 2-3 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.; supplies provided. One session per child (between the ages of 2-12). Parent or guardian must be present. 568-6156

Replica Youth Center Rock Climbing: RYC students will learn to rock climb and conduct rope safety while working on a team and building self-confidence. It’s free and it will be held at the Soldier Activity Center every Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Registration is required and can be done at the Replica Youth Center; space is limited to 10. 568-3523

Military Child of the Year: Operation Homefront is accepting 2018 Military Child of the Year nominations through Dec. 4. All awards will be presented at a recognition gala April 19, 2018, in the nation’s capital. 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of the Military Child of the Year awards, with 42 military children honored since 2008. For details, visit www.militarychildoftheyear.org.

Child Range Orientation: This is a one-hour firearm safety course required for children ages 6-17 to accompany parents or guardians on Rod and Gun Club live-fire ranges, and it will take place at 2 p.m. the second and fourth Saturday of each month. A parent or guardian must accompany all children. It is open to the public. Free. 568-5426

Community

Flood hotline: El Paso County Public Works has a full-time flood hotline to address flooding concerns. Residents can call 875-8555 for flood-related assistance during times of need or to address concerns about future flooding. Public works will be able to provide services such as providing sandbags for residents to pick up, building barriers or berms to prevent water from leaving right of ways, pumping water from county roads and other services. El Paso County cannot perform work on private property, but will work to assist regarding flooding on county roads and right of ways.

Mircosoft training: El Paso Community College is offering free Microsoft training to veterans and military spouses. The 15-week course will lead to certifications in many areas. Daycare, transportation and job placement assistance is available to eligible participants. 831-7785

Veterans Busines Conference: El Paso Community College is holding a veterans business conference from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. The conference is open to all businesses, contractors and vendors interested in contracting with government agencies with a focus on veteran/service disabled veteran-owned businesses. Cost: $35. For more information and registration, call 831-7749.

Flights and Bites: The El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center will hold its 3rd Annual Flights and Bites Event: Vodka and Vino from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 715 N. Oregon St. Will feature tastings and food catered by El Paso’s favorite food trucks, as well as live music, a silent auction and more. Cost: $50 per ticket. 351-0048

Light of Unity Festival: The Bahá’ís of El Paso are preparing to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, on Sunday. A Light of Unity Festival will be presented at the University of Texas at El Paso Cinema Theater in Union Bldg. East, 500 University Ave. from 2-4 p.m. The Destiny Gospel Choir, the El Paso Children’s Folklorico Dancers, David Fallah, Allegra Artis, Mel Cangurel and Josh Solorza will provide entertainment. 309-5110

Sustainability conference: Eco El Paso will host its 10th annual conference, Renewable Energy, Efficiency and Resiliency, Oct. 25-26 at the Scottish Rite, 301 W. Missouri Ave., El Paso. Experts in sustainability, solar photovoltaic systems and solar-ready developments will present during the two-day conference. Registration is open at ecoelpaso.org. 861-0446

Tactical and Tech Day: The Fort Bliss Tactical and Tech Day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. To fill out a technology suggestion form, visit http://www.ncsi.com/docs/technology-suggestion-form.pdf. To see a list of exhibiting companies or register, visit www.federalevents.com/fortbliss.

Ground Dwellerz: The Ground Dwellerz Truck Club of El Paso is hosting the 3rd Annual Sun City Showdown Car Show from noon-5 p.m. Oct. 28 at Western Tech 9624 Plaza Circle, El Paso. Cost: car registration is $25 day of show; spectators pay $1 or canned food donation. 217-6483 or grounddwellerzep@gmail.com

Operation Troop Treats: Five local Kool Smiles locations will collect candy to send to troops downrange Oct. 28 – Nov. 4, except Sundays, when the offices are closed. The offices are located at Fairbanks, Lee Travino, Mesa, Montana and Zaragoza.

Fall bazaar: The United Methodist Women of St. Paul’s UMC will hold their Annual Fall Bazaar Nov. 10-11 at the church, 7000 Edgemere Blvd. Interested vendors can come by for an application or call 772-2734 to have one mailed.

San Elizario Veterans Day: The historic town of San Elizario will host its 21st Annual Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony Nov. 11. The parade will start at 9 a.m. at Thompson and Socorro Roads, travel east on Socorro, onto Main St. and Alarcon Road, ending at Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the San Elizario Presidio Chapel. The ceremonies will continue at the Plaza at 10:30 a.m. 383-8529

Craft fair: The Calvary Chapel of El Paso Craft Fair is from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 11 at the chapel, 1771 N. Zaragoza. Free entrance for attendees; $25 table rental fee for vendors. 855-4565

2018 Army OCS Alumni Assoc. Reunion: The U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association 2018 Reunion is March 25-29, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. The reunion will be conducted at the Columbus Marriott Hotel, 800 Front Avenue, Columbus, Ga., 31901. 1-706-324-1800. Refer to the OCS web site at https://www.ocsalumni.org for information updates or contact Nancy Ionoff, (813) 917-4309.

Socorro veterans: Veterans in Socorro, Texas, are raising money for a memorial to honor veterans who have served from World War I to the present. Nonprofit ID is #81-3106278. Send contributions to Socorro Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 290901, Socorro, TX, 79929. 588-0413

Franken-tastic time: Enjoy a spirited Halloween. Sunland Park Mall is offering two fun Halloween-themed activities for families. Wizards-in-training, junior Jedis, mini Marvel and DC super heroes and picture-perfect princesses are invited to show-off their most creative, colorful and spectacular costumes during the KidX Club Costume Contest at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Lower Level Center Court. There will be fun games, activities, giveaways, special character visit, balloon twisting, great music and more. Then, it’s the annual Halloween celebration and sweets stroll Oct. 31, from 4-6 p.m. This safe, indoor, air-conditioned and entertaining alternative to traditional outdoor Halloween activities will offer free trick-or-treating fun and for the whole family. 833-5596, or www.sunlandparkmall.com

AAFES

MILITARY STAR card: The Fort Bliss Exchange is boosting savings on first-day purchases made with a new MILITARY STAR card. Shoppers who use a new card for the first time through Oct. 26 will receive a 15 percent discount on all purchases instead of the standard 10 percent discount regularly offered. The discount is valid in-store at Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities and online at ShopMyExchange.com and can be combined with other promotions. The discount will appear as a credit on shoppers’ first billing statements.

Pet costumes: Through Oct. 31, Exchange shoppers worldwide can enter the Halloween Pet Costume Contest by submitting a photo of their pet at ShopMyExchange.com/sweepstakes. One grand-prize winner will receive a $1,000 Exchange gift card, and four runners-up will each receive a $500 gift card. Authorized shoppers 18 and up may enter. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2g4dqtp.