Parent Central Holiday Hours: Parent Central Services, Bldg. 1743 Victory Road, will be closed Dec. 23-25 and Dec. 30-Jan 1, 2018. Holiday hours will be adjusted from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 30. Normal business hours will resume Jan. 2, 2018. 568-4374
Tricare changes: William Beaumont Army Medical Center will hold briefings about changes to Tricare at 5 p.m. today (Dec. 7), Dec. 13, 21 and 27 at the hospital, 5005 N. Piedras St., El Paso. Get a username and password for DS logon at Caution-https://dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/. Check to make sure your information is correct on DEERS at Caution-www.tricare.mil/deers. Sign up for Tricare benefits updates at Caution-www.tricare.mil/about. Find out about Tricare changes at www.tricare.mil/changes.
Legal office closure: The Fort Bliss Legal Assistance and Claims Offices, on the first floor of Bldg. 113 on Pershing Road, will be closed after 11:45 a.m. Dec. 15 for an office function, and after 11:45 a.m. Dec. 22 and Dec. 27 and 28 during the holiday half-day schedule. In addition, these offices will be closed all day Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 during the federal holidays, and all day Dec. 26 and Dec. 29 during the days of no scheduled activities.
Trees for Troops: The Trees for Troops distribution will be from 9 a.m. Monday at Biggs Park for service members E-5 and below and Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers until the trees are gone. Then, at 1 p.m. Monday at Biggs Park, trees will be available for all ranks and retirees until the trees are gone. Trees are free, but organizers ask that people bring a canned food item for the food pantry at the Junior Enlisted Family Center. For military ID cardholders only. Tree stands not provided. Must provide transportation for live trees. Date subject to change due to delivery of trees.
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
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
Brushstrokes: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 2-5 p.m. Saturday for a social art class. This month’s theme is “Woodland Fox.” The class is open to DOD ID cardholders ages 10 and older. Registration is required. Space is limited to 10. Cost: $15, including all supplies and instruction. 568-6156
Family Thank You: Enjoy this holiday season with glow bowling and on-the-hour prizes from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 24 at Desert Strike Lanes to say thanks for being you. There will be $1.50 bowling, shoes, pizza, hot dogs, small drinks and candy to enjoy. Open to the public. 568-6272
New Year’s Eve Bingo: Start the New Year off right with a little extra cash in your pocket starting at 4 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. Try your luck to win cash prizes. Ticket buy-in is $50 and includes bingo paper pack, dinner and a champagne toast to the New Year. It’s open to DOD ID cardholders ages 18 and older and their guests. Advance ticket purchase recommended. 744-1171
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
Warrior Zone: The Warrior Zone, 21171 Medic Ave., is open. The brand-new, state-of-the-art entertainment facility is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday; and from 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. This is a place of leisure after a hard day’s work. Grab a bite to eat at the full-service snack bar. There’s lots to do with a fully stocked bar, six pool tables, two mini-bowling lanes, Alienware, PlayStation/Xbox gaming center, outdoor basketball, sand volleyball and more. It’s open to the public 18 and older. 741-3000
Snow Tubing in Ruidoso: Teens, join the Replica Youth Center for a day trip to Ruidoso, N.M., and go snow tubing Saturday. The cost is $10, due Friday. Registration is required. 568-3523
Winter Break Hodge Podge Camp: Teens, enjoy fun activities during the holiday break from Dec. 26-29. There will be trips to Adventure Zone, Bob O’s Family Fun Center, movie night and bowling. Registration is required and can be done at the Replica Youth Center. Fees may vary. 568-3523
Replica Youth Center Rock Climbing: RYC students will learn how to rock climbing and rope safety, team building and self-confidence as they grow physically and mentally. It’s free and is at the Soldier Activity Center every Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Registration is required and can be done at the RYC. Space is limited to 10. 568-3523
4-H retreat: The 2018 4-H Teen Leadership Retreat is slated for Jan. 5-7, 2018, at the Texas 4-H Conference Center near Brownwood. Early bird registration is through Dec. 22. Register online through the center’s website, http://texas4hcenter.tamu.edu.
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
Luminarias: The Desert Botanical Gardens and Lake at Keystone Heritage Park, 4200 Doniphan, El Paso, will be aglow for two magical nights, from 6-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with more than 2,000 hand-lit luminaria bags. Stroll the luminary lit pathways while enjoying the sounds of the holidays. Sweet treats and hot cocoa will be available. Visit the vendors’ booths and maybe you will find that special holiday gift. Cost: $4 general admission; $3 military; $1 children. 581-7920
‘Nocturnal’: The El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre presents the contemporary dance company’s ‘‘Nocturnal’’ at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Philanthropy Theatre on the second floor of the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre Annex (above the box office). Cost: $16, on sale at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, and 800-745-3000.
Fundraising dinner: You are invited to an elegant fundraising gala for the El Paso Choral Society from 6 p.m.-midnight Saturday at Summit Hall, 120 N. Festival. Features dinner, drinks, and dancing to Azucar, with the highlight of arias performed by professional opera singers. Cost: $100 and available at www.epchoralsociety.org/giving or by sending an RSVP to email@example.com.
Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club: The ROWC will meet for their annual holiday luncheon at noon Dec. 19 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. Members and guests may bring a “white elephant” gift for a raffle. Wives and widows of retired officers from any branch of service are invited. Cost: $18 and reservations are required by noon Dec. 15. 346-2034
El Paso Choral Society: The El Paso Choral Society presents a New Year Music Festival with 100-voice choir and professional orchestra and soloists at the Abraham Chavez Theatre. First, enjoy the holiday favorite and family-friendly opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30. Then ring in the New Year with a classy Viennese New Year’s Concert featuring waltzes and arias at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets range from $20 to $60 for each production and are available through Ticketmaster.com, the Plaza Theater Box Office and the El Paso Choral Society. 259-4999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Military Winterfest: The Angel Fire (N.M.) Military Winterfest is Feb. 22-24 and will highlight skiing, snowboarding, tubing and a family expo. Dana Bowman, a retired U.S. Army Golden Knight and double amputee, will dazzle audiences with his American Flag Jump Feb. 24. MilitaryWinterfest.com and Facebook.com/MilitaryWinterfest
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
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