Bliss Happenings November 2, 2017

Bliss Briefs: (El Paso, Texas, Nov. 2, 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. 568-7714 or 569-7348

MSG Pena ACP construction: Construction will impact entry through the Master Sgt. Pena Access Control Point 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. Saturday 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/elpasoLawyersForPatriots

Food drive: To contribute to the holiday food drive, donate cans or other nonperishable goods at all chapels on Fort Bliss Sunday and Nov. 12. 568-1519

ASYMCA Food Drive: Donate nonperishable goods for the Armed Services YMCA Thanksgiving Food Drive at the Junior Enlisted Family Center, 1717 Marshall Road, from noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Nov. 16. The organization greatly appreciates canned green beans, yams, sweet peas, gravy, corn, fruit, cranberry sauce and boxed mashed potatoes, macaroni and chees and stuffing. 562-6074

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. Tuesday. 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 Wednesday 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 holidays: The Directorate of Human Resources will have a Veterans Day training holiday and will have reduced operations Nov. 9; will be closed Nov. 10; and will open for normal operations Nov. 13. The directorate will also have reduced operations for Thanksgiving Nov. 24 and will be closed Nov. 24. Normal operations will resume Nov. 27. 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

Freedom Fest: The Freedom Crossing Freedom Fest is from 2-10 p.m. Nov. 11 and from 2-6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Freedom Crossing, 1611 Pleasonton Road, Fort Bliss. Features live music, carnival games, food vendors, rides, chalk artists, beer tents, stilt walkers, fireworks on Nov. 11 and more. Open to the public. No entry fee.

Holiday mail: To ensure delivery by Dec. 25, mail should be postmarked no later than Nov. 10 if sent priority express, first class mail (letters and cards), priority mail or USPS retail ground to or from APO AE 094XX and Nov. 15 if sent first class mail (letters and cards), priority mail or USPS retail ground to or from APO AE 093XX (priority express not available). For Hanukkah, Dec. 12, send items no later than Nov. 12 to ensure delivery.

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

Education fair: Fort Bliss will hold an education fair at Freedom Crossing (near the fire places on the patio) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 14-15. More than 20 schools will be in attendance. 568-6713

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, cakes, bratwurst, smoked fish, waffles and Christmas stollen. Beer, soft drinks, Glühwein and coffee will also be for sale. Proceeds go to the German Air Force charity organization Aid for the Needy. 201-5939

American Holiday Festival: An American Holiday Festival, featuring the 1st Armored Division Band, is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso. General admission. Free. No tickets required. www.facebook.com/1starmoreddivisionband or 568-2263

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

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

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. Wednesday. 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. 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

Autp 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

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 is Saturday and Sunday at Young Park in Las Cruces, N.M. If you are 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.

EPISD showcase: El Paso Independent School District will host an educational showcase from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday 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

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: 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. The course is open to children ages 12 and older. Cost: $10. Registration is required and can be done at SKIESUnlimited. Must be registered with Parent Central. 568-5544

Community

Full moon hike: Explore Hueco Tanks under the full moon at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tours will vary depending on abilities of hikers. Hikes include family, easy, moderate and strenuous. Reservations are required and spots are limited to 10 people for the moderate and strenuous hikes. Family and easy hikes limited to 25. Cost: $9 per adult (13 and older); $2 per child (5-12). 857-1135

Fall beauty: From 2-4 p.m. Saturday, shoppers at the Fort Bliss Exchange can check out fragrances and beauty demonstrations, learn cutting edge cosmetic techniques and participate in free giveaways. Guests can also enjoy mini makeovers and skincare guidance. The store is located at 1611 Marshall Road. 562-7200

Animal Rescue League: Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, 1 Ardovino Drive, Sunland Park, N.M., will host the 8th Annual Brunch, Barks & Bingo, benefitting the Animal Rescue League, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday in Sunset Hall (well-behaved and leashed pets are welcome). Cover charge is $25 and includes five bingo cards. Grooming service and other pet-geared vendors will be available. The day also includes raffles and a pet costume contest. Bring a donation of cleaning supplies, new or gently used collars, leashes and/or canned dog or cat food and receive a free doggie treat. Reservations recommended. 575-589-0653, ext. 3

Voter app: The El Paso County Elections Department has a mobile app that allows voters access to the most accurate information about elections. Download the free app at the Play Store for Android or the Apple Store for IPhones. 546-2154 or www.epcountyvotes.com

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

Model railroad: The Railroad Model and Historical Association of El Paso, Inc., will be celebrating National Model Railroad month in November. The association will be open every Sunday from noon-5 p.m. at 6335 Vaughn Court in the Mission Valley. N, HO, and O scales, plus Lego trains, will be running at full speed to everyone’s delight. Free.

Operation Troop Treats: Five local Kool Smiles locations will collect candy to send to troops downrange through Saturday. The offices are located at Fairbanks, Lee Trevino, 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.

Veterans Day: The 82nd Airborne Division Association, El Paso chapter, will hold an open house from 1-5 p.m. Nov. 11 at the organization’s headquarters, 2608 Fort Blvd. Free and open to the public. 240-8104 or JohCeb@msn.com

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