Bliss Briefs October 26, 2017

Bliss Briefs: (El Paso, Texas, Oct. 26, 2017)

Community Gift Wrap: Fort Bliss volunteer groups can raise money and spread 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.

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. Tuesday 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.

MSG Pena ACP construction: Construction will impact entry through the Master Sgt. Pena Access Control Point Wednesday through Dec. 15. Traffic will be reduced to one lane entering and one lane exiting the ACP between 9 a.m. and about 4:30 p.m. on construction days. Drivers should plan accordingly and use caution. 568-5953

Free legal clinic: The El Paso Bar Association and El Paso Lawyers for Patriots are hosting a free legal clinic for all veterans, active-duty military personnel and their family members from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 4 at the El Paso Community College, Valle Verde Campus, 919 Hunter, El Paso (in the Valle Verde Annex, Bldg. A, lower level). The guest speaker will be state Rep. Cesar Blanco. The event will also include free legal consultations, referrals and informational presentations on a variety of resources. 532-7052 or facebook.com/elpasoLawersForPatriots

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.

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 Street, at 6 p.m. Nov. 7. For more information, visit https://www.bliss.army.mil/dpw/environmental/index.html.

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.

Veterans Day Gala: The El Paso Veterans Association invites everyone to the Fort Bliss Veterans Day Gala at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. The gala honors veterans from all wars. Join them to show veterans that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. 566-2880 or 478-4467

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.

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

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

German Christmas Bazaar: This year’s German Christmas Bazaar is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 18 at Bldg. 747 Carter Road. The bazaar will feature crafts that are perfect for Christmas gifts, as well as German food specialities such as goulash soup, cakes, bratwurst, smoked fish, waffles and Christmas stollen. Beer, soft drinks, Glühwein and coffee will also be for sale. Proceeds go to German Air Force chairity organization Aid for the Needy. 201-5939

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. It can be used 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 on your questions. So be sure to use your voice and let us know how we are doing. Good or bad, we appreciate your input.

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

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. 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

FMWR

Massacre on Marshall Road: The Massacre on Marshall Road Haunted House is looking for willing souls to enter the abyss of ultimate terror. Warning: Not recommended for the faint of heart. Cost: $5. It is open Friday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. The last day will be on Halloween night, Tuesday from 6 p.m.-midnight. Not recommended for children, but it is at the parents’ discretion. 588-8247

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 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.

Make a Difference Day: Join Army Volunteer Corps as they give back to the community Saturday. 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.”

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: $20, including 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

Homemade for the Holidays: Join the Mickelsen Community Library for two sessions of Homemade for the Holidays. It will be from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 4 and Dec. 9. Create personalized gifts for friends and family this holiday season. The library will provide crafts and supplies to make cards, gift tags, ornaments and more. Supplies are first-come, first-served. Quantities are limited. This is a free event, recommended for ages 5 and older. 568-6156

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.

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

Intro to Pyrography: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 10 a.m.-noon Nov. 18 in the MakerSpace room for Intro to Pyrography (wood burning). Participants will learn new techniques using various wood burning tools. A small practice piece of wood and a designated craft item will be provided to each attendee. This month’s piece will be a welcome sign. Cost: $5 cash. Registration is required; payment reserves your spot. Limited to five participants 18 and older. All participants must go over a safety orientation with staff prior to using the tools. 568-6156

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

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

Pershing Pub: The Pershing Pub is a great place to gather at the end of a long week. Open every Friday at 4 p.m. (except training holidays). Come enjoy weekly drink specials and free snacks. 568-6272

Auto Crafts Safety Orientation: The Auto Craft Center offers safety orientation classes every Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. This is a mandatory safety orientation for use of the facility for automotive do-it-yourself projects. It is open to DOD ID cardholders only. 568-7280

Go Youth

‘Dolores’:  El Dia de los Muertos takes on a life of its own as “Dolores” takes to the stage to bring the dead to life in El Paso KIDS-N-CO.’S show. “Dolores” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 3-4; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and Nov. 4, at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison. Tickets are $7 for adults, and $5 for children, students, senior citizens and military. 274-8797

Call for young artists: It is once again time for the Doña Ana Arts Council’s Renaissance ArtsFaire and young artists are invited to participate.  The 46th Annual Renaissance ArtsFaire will be held Nov. 4-5, at Young Park in Las Cruces, N.M. If you are age 16 or younger, you are invited to bring your art and sell it at the Peddlers’ Market in the Children’s Realm. There is no charge for Peddlers’ Market participants to sell their artwork. All items must be made entirely by the young peddler. Kits, painted green-ware and paint-by-number are not allowed. Young peddlers are required to dress in renaissance attire for the presentation of their wares. Applications at www.daarts.org, 575-523-6403 or admin@daarts.org.

Builder’s Club: Join us for the Builder’s Club Saturday 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 will be provided. One session per child (between the ages of 2-12). Parent or guardian must be present. 568-6156

Chapel Next: Chapel Next will hold a Church in the Park event at 11:30 a.m. Sunday 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.

EPISD showcase: El Paso Independent School District will host an educational showcase from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the University of Texas at El Paso student union. Students and teachers will highlight some of the innovative programs the district offers students, such as dual language, magnets, International Baccalaureate, new tech, Young Women’s STEAM Leadership, Preparatory Academy and more. 230-2570 or www.episd.org

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

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 students. 568-3523

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

School Age Book Club: The School Age Book Club is designated for children ages 7-12. A staff member will read for part of the time and the children will read aloud as well from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday at Mickelsen Library. Activities and projects are completed at home, returned and shared at subsequent meetings. Occasional refreshments are provided as well. 568-6156

SKIESUnlimited: SkiesUnlimited offers a variety of fun and educational programs geared for children of all ages and talent levels. Music classes such as piano, voice, guitar and drums are available. SKIES also has a variety of art, sports, driver’s training and babysitting courses. All students must be enrolled with CYS Services Parent Central. Call 568-4374 to set up an appointment. Class registration opens from the 20th of the month prior to the seventh of the month in which you are enrolling. www.bliss.armymwr.com or 568-5544

Story Time: Stop by the Mickelsen Library every Tuesday from 10:15-11 a.m. or 11-11:45 a.m. as children ages 2-5 listen to stories read aloud. There will also be crafts, activities and refreshments available. Start children on the road to literacy. 568-6156

Paws for Reading: Do you have a school-age child who struggles with reading? Visit the Mickelsen Community Library from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday of the month and join Paws for Reading. It is a free program for children ages 6-12, where they have an opportunity to read to a certified therapy dog to help improve their reading skills and build self-confidence. Parents must register for a time slot (15 minutes or more) on the children’s side of the library. Registration will occur the day of the program on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum of four slots. Parents must remain at the library during the program. 568-6156

Babysitting Course: Do you have a teen who wants to earn some extra money? The SKIESUnlimited Babysitting Course is designed to help middle school and teenage youth learn what it takes to be a responsible, caring, trustworthy and competent babysitter. Students will receive first aid and CPR training on a Saturday. They will learn about child development, nutrition and the business of babysitting. Students will get ideas about how to entertain children and some tools of the trade. The course is open to children ages 12 and older and costs $10. Registration is required and can be done at SKIESUnlimited. You must be registered with Parent Central. Registration for classes opens from the 20th of the month prior to the seventh day of the month the class begins. 568-5544

Community

Boots to Business: Boots to Business, with the Small Business Administration, will hold a training program for veterans and their spouses from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday at the El Paso Small Business Development Center, El Paso Community College, 9050 Viscount Blvd., Bldg. B, El Paso. Learn how to succeed as a small business owner and entrepreneur. 834-4621 or aimee.rodriguez@sba.gov

Early voting: The State of Texas will be conducting its Constitutional Amendment and Uniform Election on Nov. 7. Early voting began Monday and will run through Nov. 3. www.epcountyvotes.com or 546-2154

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. Saturday 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 between Monday and 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

ROWC: The Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club will hold their annual meeting and luncheon at noon Nov. 14 at the Centennial Conference and Banquet Center, East Fort Bliss. Members and guests may bring toys or monetary donations for Operation Santa Claus. Also, members may bring handcrafted items that have been completed to display their arts and crafts talent. Wives and widows of officers from any branch of service are invited. Cost: $18 and reservations are required by noon Nov. 10. 759-9728

2018 Army OCS Alumni Association Reunion: The U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association 2018 Reunion is March 25-29, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. The association represents all Army officers commissioned through any OCS, regardless of previous locations or branch affiliation. 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

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 sand bags 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.

Microsoft 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

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