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bliss NOW JUL | AUG | SEP

F A R APART CLOSE @ HEART Helping others | Staying safe | Shining on with Family and MWR @blissmwr


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Don’t stop now. Start getting the service you deserve. Members switched and saved an average of $707 per year on USAA Auto Insurance. 1

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No official U.S. Army endorsement is implied. Sponsorship does not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense. 1Based on countrywide survey of new customers from 01/01/17 to 12/31/18, who reported their prior insurers’ premiums when they switched to USAA. Membership eligibility and product restrictions apply and are subject to change. Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe) and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products. © 2019 USAA. 266467-1019-A


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One World One Voice One Magazine

ONE GREAT STAFF Family and MWR Director Tony Lovett

Deputy Director, Plans & Special Events

William Ketcherside

Army Community Service Nancy Thomas-Mainor

Business Operations Ron Telles

Child & Youth Services Pat Smith

NAF Support Manager Indri O’Hara




Training Coordinator

Hello everyone! Well, 2020 has certainly taken a turn for us here at Fort Bliss MWR. We have seen unprecedented closures and cancellations over the last three months that none of us could have predicted. However, in true MWR fashion, the team adjusted fire and figured out how to continue our mission of supporting Soldiers and their Families. As we move into the summer, we want our patrons to rest assured that we are looking at many alternatives to traditional events and programming. Whether it be drive-in movie nights or virtual ACS classes I have no doubt that the Fort Bliss MWR team will adapt and excel! I look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces at our next event!

Office Manager

See you there!

Recreation & Sports Eric Hildreth

Marketing Manager

Michele Wiernicki

Marketing Assistants Rachelle Phillips Holly Lebejko


Natalie Hinojos

Graphic Designers Kenny Broomfield Raymond Sanchez

Visual Production Marketing

Chris Bohn

Sponsorship and Advertising Coordinator Marlo Brestar

Advertising Assistant Aneta Veedmont

Mary Estrada

Martina Grise

BlissNOW is a Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation magazine published quarterly for activities on Fort Bliss, Texas. BlissNOW is mailed to all Fort Bliss homes inserted in welcome packets, and distributed to all Family and MWR facilities, along with the Fort Bliss Commissary, Post Exchange at Freedom Crossing, IHG Army Hotels Fort Bliss and the Personnel Processing Center. Circulation: 35,000 quarterly. The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Army, Department of Defense or federal government. The information in this issue is current at the time of publication; activities and events are subject to change without notice. Downloading of any social media apps is on a voluntary basis. DFMWR is not responsible for any negative consequences resulting in its use. For more information, call the individual facilities. Family and MWR Marketing is located in Building 12 Pershing Road Fort Bliss, TX 79916 and may be reached at 915-568-6741.

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Get your free copy of blissNOW magazine mailed directly to you. Email your name and address to: blissmwr@gmail.com www.bliss.armymwr.com





Pages full of absolute fun and endless POSSIBILITIES!




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Manager’s Summer Note

Congratulations Class of 2020

12 14 17

Just Try It

Lunch T ime!

Sponsor support adapts to change

30 31 32 34 35 36 37 38

A Library during the time of pandemic

BOSS takes on new challenges

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Hitting the Mark

Simple ways to register

Staying active at home Recognizing front-line workers Far Apart, Close at Heart Mosaic Auto & Art move forward

Don’t Sit, Get Fit

Take a Hike

Prepare to impress

Taking care of you

AER offers assistance

Ways to help you cope


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Director’s Note



39 42

ACS Pages

Kids Zone

44 50

Fort Bliss Maps

ABOUT THE COVER Fort Bliss MWR realizes even though we are far apart, we are still close at heart. As most people continue to stay home and stay safe, they still find ways to connect. Milo connected with his fellow fur buddies through video calls! Also, MWR asked our patrons to send in their photos while staying at home. Check out the mosaic created by DesertShot Fun Boxx. PAGE 26-27

Family & MWR Phone Directory


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we still have 56 pages to fill! So, this is where the adaptation needs to occur. Here at MWR Marketing, we closed our doors on March 23 and looked to social media to become our messenger. We ran contests, shared some of the awesome things happening at home, and celebrated the good stuff. In this issue we want to highlight that good stuff. Well, what a change we have experienced since Read ahead to see how our the last printing of our magazine! entire organization adapted and excelled, how our The entire landscape of the world as we know it Families came together and thrived, and check out is now altered, perhaps permanently. The new word all the amazing graduates of the Class of 2020! buzzing around our office is “Adapt.” How do we They deserve to be celebrated! adapt to this new situation, how do you change the We are determined to get back to bringing you way we operate to accommodate such a shift? amazing events and programming. It might not be Probably 80% of our magazine is based on this issue or maybe not the fall issue either, but have upcoming events. That is our chief mission, to no doubt that if any organization can bounce back support the Morale, Welfare and Recreation and adapt to a higher level, it’s Fort Bliss MWR! (MWR) divisions and advertise their events and programs. Hmmm … everything is cancelled and



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No official U.S. Army endorsement is implied.




Fort Bliss MWR wants to shine a light on our Graduating Seniors! We asked parents to send a photo of their seniors to highlight their amazing accomplishment during this crazy finish to their high school career. Congratulations Seniors Class of 2020!



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Jacob Bohn

Andress High School

Angelina Rossi

Burges High School

Vinny Murphy II

Julia Wiernicki

Burges High School

Andy Nguyen

Dominick Coleman Austin High School

Gabriel Garcia

Kiara Pascual

Ramaaj Laneer Redd

Chapin High School

Tyler Webb

Christopher Martinez Martinez

El Dorado High School



Xavier Ayala

Chapin High School

Chapin High School

East Lake High School

Alex Cooley

Austin High School

Cathedral High School

Chapin High School

Chapin High School page 8

Derek Brechler

Austin High School

Niclas Gomez

Chapin High School

Moana Ellerbe

Franklin High School www.bliss.armymwr.com

Haley Edmondson Austin High School

Lizbeth Castellanos

Gabriella Pizzi

Burges Early College High School

Colbie Cornell

Abby Nicole Harrison

Chapin High School

Chapin High School

Ramajae Lanette Redd

Demario Salazar

Chapin High School

Alexus Albertson

Pebble Hills High School @blissmwr

Katelyn Altaha

Austin High School

Chapin High School

Nevaeh Smith

Miciah N. Quinn

Burges Early College High School

Isaiah M Horton

Chapin High School

Camren Thomas

Chapin High School

Chapin High School

Chapin High School

Lailani Gonzalez

Kelly Michelle H. Crisostomo

Deon Maxwell Jr.

Silva Health Magnet High School

Transmountain Early College High School

Valle Verde Early College High School JUL | AUG | SEP

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Just Try It The Joy of Painting

Hello Fort Bliss Community! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. The last few months were incredibly challenging as the world came to a halt bringing a huge change in our lifestyles. With limited opportunities to try some of the MWR programs, I came to realize that I was lucky to participate in one of the Art and Hobby Shop classes, before the “Great Pause” started. Today, I wanted to share with you my experience and the joy of painting with Bob Ross. Bob Ross is a well-known TV personality and art instructor famous for showing how to paint a landscape masterpiece. I was tremendously happy with this choice as I do enjoy scenic photography. Thus, I thought how fun would it be to create my own scenic painting? Tara, the class instructor, articulated that Bob Ross promotes the vision to “enjoy the beauty and try something new.” So, everything you do, is good enough, no matter what! During this two-hour class, I was able to discover — for myself — how easy it was to paint! The class provided the necessary equipment to include brushes, acrylic paint and a canvas board. We used acrylic paint as it is fast, safer and dries quickly. Oil paint on the contrary, takes longer to dry and might be more challenging to use for beginners. Tara prepared the paint colors, and with such a great set-up, I was ready to go! We watched video instructions to demonstrate

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the techniques used to paint a landscape scenery of a mountain. As a beginner, this tutorial gave me more comfort, and surprisingly it was such an easy style to paint! As instructed, I started to paint with far away objects, with this particular class we did a landscape of mountains. Then, I gradually painted objects that were closest onto the canvas. As the class progressed, Tara would pause the video, so we could mimic the steps explained on-screen. Truly, it was so much fun and your creativity is limitless! This class gave me an opportunity to learn that each landscape begins with a simple paint stroke, and evolves into colorful scenes of forests, mountains, cloudy skies, or the ocean in just a matter of minutes! And don’t worry, if you make a mistake you can still make the best art! I learned a gentle reassurance, “do not give up, you can do it.” The best part of this really great experience was it got me to paint, and secondly, the whole idea is that anyone can paint. After all, everyone is an artist, you just have to get out and paint. Talent is not necessary, just be creative and make your vision come true. Due to COVID-19 Art & Hobby Shop is currently closed, however, they have been selling art kits for Soldiers and Families to do at home. If you follow them on Facebook at Fort Bliss Resiliency Through Art, you’ll see the live video streaming of their classes. If you would like to develop an interest in painting, give it a try! For more information, call the Art & Hobby Shop at 915-568-5563.

Until next time,



Let's get creative! WOOF!

These past couple of months have been crazy! I don’t know about you, but my family was home a lot. It’s been great! I’ve been getting extra walks, hugs and snacks. If you are stuck at home, I bet a couple bones that it can get pretty boring sometimes. Dogs like myself are pretty great at brightening the mood and making days more fun. There are a lot of fun activities that you can do with your four-legged animals around the house to bring joy to the entire family during these times. I have put together a list of some of my favorite things for you to try. Play “find the treats”: Get your dog’s favorite treat to hide in different rooms in fairly easy places for them to find — this is one of my favorites. Improve your Photo skills: Have fun with different settings on your camera or phone, try burst mode or fast shutter. You can get down to your dog’s level and take different angle shots. Try putting pet safe peanut butter on the roof of your

pet’s mouth just before a photo, this can make for some entertaining “tongue out” photos. Movie night: This can be a family/ pet cuddle session and you can get your pet engaged by watching pet flicks with familiar faces and sounds. Dog Yoga: Get your mats out and if your dog is curious like me, they may want to try some of those yoga poses with you. Don’t force it, but try to incorporate it into daily walks and playtime, you might be surprised. On your walks, you can attempt yoga with your furry friend by practicing lunges on the sidewalk or other poses, while they stop for a potty break. Do it Yourself (DIY) dog toys: Easy enough for the kids to do, please use age appropriate scissors. Be creative and add your own twist to these activities and more. As much as you need to keep your mind active during these times, we dogs need to stay active too!

Paws & Kisses,

DIY Dog Toy

1. Cut three strips of fleece fabric

28 inches long. 2. Lay the three pieces out and stack them neatly on top of one another. 3. Grab the fleece approximately 6 inches from the top and tie a knot. (Make sure it is nice and tight) 4. Place on a flat surface and ask a helper to hold it as you braid the three pieces. 5. When finished, tie another knot tightly and there you have it, a toy made by you for your best friend that they are sure to enjoy.



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By now, most of Fort Bliss is back to work and looking forward to lunch time. The Centennial Banquet and Conference Center has you covered with all-you-can-eat buffet! The Centennial resumed their lunch buffet service in early June with some modifications. Buffets will continue to be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday at $10.25 per person, it includes the main entrée, sides, soup, salad bar and drink. The lineup for the menu also continues to be the same: Asian favorites will be served Monday, Mexican-style flavors on Tuesdays, German delights served Wednesdays, enjoy barbecue on Thursdays, and Chef A.B.’s Southern special on Fridays. What can you expect arriving at the Centennial for lunch? Patrons will now enter through the Patio Entrance to sign in with their name, phone number and time entered. They will then take a left down the hallway towards the lunch buffet page 14



line, taking care to safely social distance 6-ft apart from others, while in line. Unsure of the correct distance? Look for the X’s on the floor for help! Hand sanitizing stations will also be available while waiting. One patron at a time will enter the lunch buffet line, a server will ask if you want to dine in or take out. The served salad bar, soups and beverages — canned sodas or bottled water — will be on the left. The main entrée and sides will be served from the right side. There will be a cashier available for debit or credit card transactions only. Upon leaving the buffet line, patrons will take a right out of the lunch line and head towards the seating areas. Patrons will have their choice of seating in the Sam Adams Pub, the Rotunda, and the outdoor patio. Inside seating will be for up to 4 people and outside side seating is up to 6. Waitresses will be checking on patrons to deliver condiments and assist with any additional servings. Once you are full from lunch and ready to head back to work, you will follow the exit signs scan to to exit out of the glass doors across from the watch video lunch line. For more information, call 915-744-8427. Scan the quick response (QR) code with your phone and watch Centennial Banquet and Conference Center safety guidelines. www.bliss.armymwr.com

LUNCH BUFFET FOR $10.95 Mondays: Dine on a delicious menu of Asian favorites. Enjoy beef broccoli and kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pork or chicken, steamed pot stickers, fried egg rolls, white rice, fried rice, lo mein noodles along with a soup, salad bar and drink. Tuesdays: Dine on the best flavors El Paso has to offer with chicken enchiladas and beef flautas, Spanish rice, refried beans, tostadas with cheese along with a soup, salad bar and drink. Wednesdays: Experience a taste of Germany during the Centennial’s Bavarian buffet. Enjoy schnitzel with mushroom gravy, bratwurst and sauerkraut, egg noodles, home-style potatoes, a vegetable medley, rolls with a soup, salad bar and drink. Thursdays: Get your grub on with our Chuck Wagon-style barbecue. It features barbecue ribs, chicken or smoked sausage and all the fixings with a soup, salad bar and drink. Fridays: Enjoy Chef A.B.’s Southern Special a buffet menu that includes fried catfish, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, dirty rice and cornbread with a soup, salad bar and drink.



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HOW YOU SPEND IT, IS UP TO YOU! $500 PAYOUT guaranteed every week!!

Wednesdays & Saturdays at the Centennial 11199 Sgt. Major Blvd • Info: 915-744-8427

Sponsor support adapts to change BY MARLO BRESTAR


The dynamics and day-to-day routines of work and various aspects of our lives have surely changed! A while back, many of us were put on administrative leave. At that time it was thought it would last a couple of weeks at best. Here we are a couple of months later, and learning together, from one another, how to adapt to our “new normal.” The entire Fort Bliss MWR team is working hard behind the scenes to come up with safe ways to reopen our facilities and provide fun things to keep Fort Bliss Families safe and occupied during this trying time. We’ve had some of our great sponsors really step up during the “stay safe, stay at home” period to support our Soldiers. Boingo and a local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), in remembrance of Mr. Bill Wiggins, gave Fort Bliss MWR financial support, so we could purchase much needed leisure items and snacks for quarantined Soldiers. USAA, our long time and biggest supporter, gave us the go ahead to move unused sponsorship funds, previously allocated to events that were cancelled, to other areas where it was needed to support our Soldiers and their Families. USAA also stepped in to support us with our 4th of July efforts. We are saddened to say Fort Bliss MWR will not have our normal Pop Goes the Fort event in its glorious celebratory way. However, we are still excited to announce, “There will be fireworks!” They will be set off from inside Biggs Park on Saturday, July 4th at around 9 p.m., the park will remain closed to the public. We recommend all patrons practice safe social distancing, while watching our spectacular firework display from your homes or safe parking areas. In addition to the generous support from USAA, Fort Bliss Water Services (ASUS) and Phoenix Truck Driving School, we will be handing out free glow merchandise to our military families on July 3. We would like everyone — at a set time — to hold your glow items proudly and high in the air, allowing us to be together while apart. Follow us on Facebook and our Fort Bliss MWR website for more details. We would like to thank USAA and all of our supporters for allowing us these great opportunities. Now and always, we appreciate your support and dedication.



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THE MARK The Rod & Gun Club refreshes their game with improvements

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Pew! pew!


Bullets and arrows are flying at the Fort Bliss Rod & Gun Club and patrons couldn’t be happier with the improvements made during the closure. The Rod and Gun Club has taken the opportunity to update the ranges to give patrons a clean, safe and enjoyable experience, during COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the doors are open patrons can check out the big changes at the 3D Archery Range. The team updated the range by adding bear, coyote, turkey, elk, buck, boar and sheep targets to shoot. You’ll see bright new colors everywhere you look! All firing lines have been painted red, whereas benches, tables and chairs have been painted blue on each range. Five stand cages, Trap and Skeet lines and the outside building have all been given a new coat of fresh paint. Interested in perfecting your shot? Check out the new distance markers on the ranges. On ranges up to 200 yards, you can shoot 25, 50, 75, 100 yard markers. For long distance ranges, the markers are set by 100 yard intervals. Need to practice for your license to carry? Check out Range 6A with markers at 3, 5, 7 and 25 yards. As you walk around the complex you will definitely notice new “Can’t Miss” range signs and rules sign. Be on the lookout for a new area of blue bins. They contain trash collection, cardboard and brass pick up on the ranges. The club is installing these blue bins on each range in an effort to help keep the ranges clean and debris free! The Fort Bliss Rod & Gun Club is located at 3730 Roy Johnson Lane. It is open to all Active Duty, law enforcement, retired military, DOD Civilians and the general public. For more information, call 915-5685026 or follow them on Facebook at Ft Bliss Rod and Gun Club.




Photos courtesy of Rod and Gun Club




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Fore! The Underwood Golf Complex has been working extremely hard on improving both golf courses over the last two months during the closure. The team at Underwood repaired and edged sand traps on both golf courses and will emplace new rakes once restrictions are lifted. The most noticeable changes occurred on the Sunset Golf Course where extensive tree management has taken place, including the removal of dead trees and troublesome roots. A big project that was started is the removal of the fenced area from hole number eight — hint … hint … read on for the biggest surprise! Future plans will see the depressed area filled with water including fountains, to create a daunting yet picturesque addition to the Sunset Course. On the Sunrise Course the removal of unwanted shrubs is underway, most notablyremoving them from the right side of holes one and nine. Lastly, on the Sunset Golf Course, they have reversed the two nines — the back nine holes are now the front nine holes and vice versa — which makes for a great new look. New granite tee markers have been added, reflecting

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Photos courtesy of Underwood Golf Complex

the changes along with the installation of yardage stakes placed on the right side of the fairways. Underwood’s main project has been repairing the irrigation system on the golf course. They have removed three pumps from the pumping station, which will be repaired and reinstalled over the next couple of weeks. A cut off valve will also be installed at the pump house for future projects. One May 19, the Underwood Golf Complex reopened while taking every necessary precaution to ensure a safe experience. At this time, they are taking phone reservations for tee times and practicing social distancing by staying aligned with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. They look forward to seeing everyone come out and enjoy the links in the near future! For more information and tee time reservations, call 915-568-1059. Follow them on Facebook at Fort Bliss Underwood Golf Complex for the most up to date announcements. Scan the quick response (QR) code with your phone, at the bottom, to watch an interview with Dallas Cooke, the manager at the Underwood Golf Complex.


scan to watch video


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Now that we are in the full swing of summer it’s time to start thinking about Back-to-School season! For many families, this means registering prior to arrival, starting a student on their academic journey, transitioning from elementary to middle or middle to high school, choosing the right academic environment, or simply updating information. In any situation, this is an exciting time and there have been many changes that improve and streamline the registration process.

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Online registration is currently open and allows parents to register their student, upload documents, obtain a parent portal/ Student 360 account, submit a request for transfer and more. The Texas House Bill (HB) 1597 allows families to establish residency and register their children into public schools once their Soldier receives orders to Texas. This gives you the opportunity to start the registration process before arrival without having to wait. Each of the nine school districts in El Paso and one in southern New Mexico that support military affiliated students with a parent assigned to Fort Bliss have unique calendars and registration processes. It’s helpful, but not necessary, to know which district you will reside. School districts offer open enrollment providing parents a multitude of options when searching for the right academic environment for their student. Keep in mind, campus capacity impacts transfers, it’s best to have several campuses in mind should you choose to enroll in a school other than your home school. Area schools offer a variety of programs to help students transition including Military & Family Life Counseling Program (MFLC) and Military Family Liaisons. Students also have access to a wide range of extracurricular and academic activities including Youth Sponsorship. Your school Liaison Officer is here to help take the guess work out of transitions! Email us at usarmy. bliss.imcom-fmwrc.mbx.school-liaison-office@mail. mil or call 915-569-5064 for more information. www.bliss.armymwr.com


- AUG 1 Y L U J

SKIESUnlimited wants to see how creative you can be in making your own obstacle course at home! Visit the SKIESUnlimited Facebook page @BlissSKIES, private message a picture or video of your obstacle course OPEN TO: Fort Bliss Military children ages 3 to 18 years old. Families of MWR employees may participate but not eligible for prizes.


1) A minimum of 5 Items from the list* below. 2) A minimum of 5 different obstacles. 3) Done in or around the home, such as on the driveway, sidewalk, grass, or living room. Some actions and ideas for your obstacle course may include: stop and start, throw, run, skip, kick, over/under, crawling, and jumping/hopping, as well as balance, strength, cardio, and agility work. Be creative, become a super hero with your own obstacle course!

The winners in each age category (3-5 yrs, 6-9 yrs, and 10-18 yrs) will receive one free month of a SKIESUnlimited class valued up to $50. The overall grand prize winner will also receive a $50 Amazon gift card!

Winners will be chosen based on creativity, the use of items, and your enthusiastic efforts with big smiles! Picture or video must be messaged to the SKIES Facebook page by noon on Monday, August 31. *Suggested Items: chair, couch, table, cushion/pillow, broom/mop, jump rope/rope, ball, bucket, cups/cones, water bottles/jug, box, blanket/towel, pool noodle, stuffed animals, cans, dumbbell/hand weights, bubbles, hula hoops, a Frisbee, or a gym/yoga mat.

INFO: 915-568-5544 @blissmwr



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Staying Active at home BY FAMILY & MWR SKIES UNLIMITED

Staying active during this uncertain time is extremely important for your mental and physical wellness. While this is a time of tough circumstances, there are still many ways you can continue to stay active! Try taking a family walk, create your own workout challenge, or create an obstacle course – get creative! We created our own obstacle course to give you an idea to try and build one of your own at home. The first obstacle the participant will try to balance while walking along the jump rope — anchored by a pool noodle — in a straight line, one foot in front of the other. The second activity is jumping up on the chair and down off the chair and onto a cushion. The third obstacle occurs on the towel where the participant performs a cart wheel or the three stretches listed below in the article. The fourth activity is hula hooping for 1-minute. In the fifth activity, the participant will zig zag between cups that are

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spread apart. And the final activity is a ball toss into a bucket. Before you begin any type of exercise you should always take the time to stretch. Try out a few of these stretches below and see if you can hold each of them for 10 to 20 seconds. Butterfly: Sit down and bend both of your legs and put the bottoms of your feet together. Push your knees down with your elbows or hands and try to touch your nose to your toes. Pike: Sit down with both legs out in front of you and reach your hands to your toes. Make sure to keep your legs straight. Straddle: Sitting down, separate your legs into a wide “V” shape, make sure your legs are straight with your knees facing up, and your toes pointed. To make it more difficult, try to touch your toes with your hands. Stay safe and healthy! We can’t wait to see you at SKIES Gymnastics again!




Photos courtesy of Fort Bliss, Texas Garrison Facebook page

In April, Fort Bliss Garrison Commander Col. Stu James visited Child Development Centers (CDC) front-line employees, who continue to ensure essential services are provided safely to the Fort Bliss community. Col. James recognizes Melissa Sanders (top photo), director of Milam CDC, and Dalia Poole (bottom photo), director of Replica CDC, for their dedication to Soldiers and their Families. Both directors’ team efforts have directly led to the installation’s ability to continue meeting operational requirements. “Our CDC and SAC employees are critical to winning our fight against COVID-19,” Col. James said. “I want to ensure they get the recognition they deserve and know how much we appreciate what they do for the community on a daily basis.”


SERVING EL PASO'S MILITARY FAMILIES FOR 12 YEARS Dyer Location Just 2 Miles from Fort Bliss! 9813 Dyer St. El Paso, TX 79924 (915) 751-0123 @blissmwr

PARENTS ALWAYS ALWAYS WELCOME IN EXAM & TREATMENT ROOMS JUL |Paso AUG | SEPLocations Accepting New Patients at 3 Convenient El page 25







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When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in El Paso, many Fort Bliss facilities and services closed for almost 4 months. During this time Soldiers and Families stayed home to keep each other safe and healthy. However, MWR Auto Crafts and the Art & Hobby Shop found ways to keep those Families and their employees busy and also your automobiles running smoothly.. The hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday Auto Crafts Fort Bliss Auto Crafts remained open and continues to from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Do It Yourself (DIY) and Texas be open to help keep your automobile up and running State Inspections, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for repair with COVID-19 friendly adjustments. Auto Crafts drop off and pick up. practices social distancing by limiting customer flow DIY safety orientation classes are still offered for a $5 fee with a maximum of 10 patrons in the facility at all times. on a walk-in basis and staff encourages new customers to To ensure this, the front doors are closed and employees call 915-568-7280 before they arrive. This helps ensure advise patrons to drive around the back of the facility for there is a staff member available on-hand to assist in the instruction. assistance. It is requested that Fort Bliss patrons come prepared Art and Hobby with safety precautions, there is a no mask/no service As you may know the Art and Hobby Shop closed policy enforced at the facility. in early March for in-person classes, but they have

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remained very active through their Facebook Page, Fort Bliss Resiliency through Art. Currently, there are more than 60 unique art videos on the Facebook page, with corresponding art kits being packed and sold daily. They can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pre-orders are encouraged to minimize long wait periods. Please feel free to direct message through social media or call 915568-5563. To provide more encouragement for their Facebook followers to live an artful life, MWR Marketing sponsored an art kit weekly giveaway to the first 100 customers. It was a huge success! During this time, the Art & Hobby staff has been active with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) and Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) programs providing them with kits and instructional videos based on their unique needs. If your organization or group needs specialized COVID-19 friendly team building, call from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday at 915-568-5563. Photos courtesy of Art & Hobby Shop








GSA Schedule # 47QREA18D000E



We asked our MWR Fort Bliss Libraries to keep our patrons up-to-date on the status of their facilities. As you’ll read Librarian, Jessica Pollock, informs us of the things they’ve done during,“The Great Pause.” On March 20, the Mickelsen and Soldier Activity Center (SAC) Libraries closed their doors, temporarily, due to COVID-19 health concerns. Raising the question, how are we going to connect with our patrons, and offer helpful information, while the libraries are closed? We found several different answers to that question. Fort Bliss Libraries were able to utilize online resources, giving patrons the ability to download books, and other media, through Overdrive or Recorded Books (RB) Digital. In addition, resources such as Ancestry.com and Mango Languages were available for patron use. Facebook has also been a wonderful tool to inform the community about things to do or the current status of the libraries. From the beginning, we’ve been sharing posts from the MWR Army Library website, and some of our most popular posts involved virtual Summer Camps, and taking a virtual tour of the pyramids at Giza. During April, Fort Bliss Libraries saw two major ways to get patrons engaged in the library. A Spring Reading Challenge began, patrons were able to sign up, log their minutes and be eligible for weekly prize drawings. This Reading Challenge was run by the Department of Defense (DOD), and open to all libraries that wanted to participate. Fort Bliss had 111 participants who logged almost 12,000 minutes! On April 19, we started National Library Week,

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in which patrons could share content on different topics each day of the week. From sharing pictures of home bookshelves, to showing off their inner comedians by posting library jokes, patrons were able to connect with each other. In early May, we started posting virtual Story Time videos. A member of our Children’s side staff enthusiastically read picture books for children. The videos were engaging and entertaining, with a wide variety of topics. These videos offered something for everyone. Mickelsen Library began a curbside pickup program, in late May. During set times, three days a week, patrons were able to call in phone requests, drive up, pick up their items, and return any materials. As a special treat, Mickelsen Library started the annual Summer Reading Program in June! This year, for safety and health concerns, the program is entirely virtual, run by the DOD. Patrons are able to still sign up to participate on the DOD website, until Aug. 31. They are able to log minutes and enter in weekly prize drawings. In addition, now through July 13, the children’s side staff will post weekly at home crafts and activities with a different theme. It has taken some adjustment, and creativity, but Mickelsen Community Library strives to continue to provide engaging activities for our patrons! Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on our activities!


takes on new challenges BY SGT. GAVIN TOMENY


The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Program did not go unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While adhering to the social distancing standards and providing morale lifting events for single Soldiers, we looked to new ways to virtually interact with them. Through social media, we held a number of virtual video contests for single Soldiers to compete in. They ranged from giving a weekend safety briefing to showing off their car in order to win a $100 gift card. These contests ran for 10 weeks and the videos were posted on our Facebook page: BlissBOSS. Soldiers were very creative with the videos showing off their cooking skills and they even did an extreme makeover barracks edition. Following the stay-at-home order, we teamed up with the Art and Hobby Shop to offer a variety of art projects Soldiers could do in their barracks at no charge to them. These projects gave Soldiers a positive outlet, while maintaining social distancing standards. The Art and Hobby Shop created different types of kits for Soldiers to enjoy that included painting supplies, stepping stone kits, sand art kits, and some fun items to celebrate events such as, May the 4th Be With You. Texas Roadhouse at Freedom Crossing also

jumped in with a donation of $25 gift cards for BOSS to give away to single Soldiers. There was another chance to win an additional $50 gift card to Texas Roadhouse, if single Soldiers posted a picture of themselves — enjoying their food — to our page. Moving forward, we hope to see things getting back to normal. We plan to start small and slow. We will be adhering to all precautions and best practices put out by the Army, Fort Bliss, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines We will eventually begin to offer outings and volunteer opportunities  for Soldiers again. This will mean different types of events and different logistical  hurdles to overcome,  then what we were used  to. Regardless, BOSS will move forward and continue to support morale here on Fort Bliss. We look forward to continuing Photos courtesy of Fort Bliss BOSS events when the time comes, follow us on Facebook to stay updated.

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Close your eyes. Envision yourself with great health, moving everyday with ease in your daily activities. Envision yourself with your dream body, the best version of yourself. Now open your eyes. Yes, you’re not at the gym and you’re at home. But, you’re safe and sound and that’s important. Now take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I can do this.” Fitness at home is more possible than you think, but only as possible as you make it. I want you to put this into perspective — fitness is a lifelong journey and it should be customized to your needs, your body and your lifestyle. When inevitable situations arise and the safest place to be is at home, you adapt and overcome. Fort Bliss GroupFit is right there with you, guiding you every step of the way during this unprecedented time. Fitness is not just about looks or your physical health — “mental health is just as important as physical health and exercise can heal both,” as one of our Certified Trainers, Tami Barnwell, has mentioned. Exercise substantially improves our mental health by relieving stress, depression, and that negative mood you can easily fall into. It boosts our self-esteem giving people an enormous sense of well-being. When you do any kind of exercise, you’ll feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper, clearer memories, be more relaxed and have a more positive attitude. You may be thinking how can exercise do this? It’s simple — when you exercise, all kinds of changes occur within the brain such as neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that give you that calm feeling. Endorphins are also released and these are the powerful chemicals in your brain that energize

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your spirits and make you feel happy! Fitness at home is as easy as 1-2-3. Our team of Certified Trainers at Fort Bliss GroupFit have provided home-based workouts that are posted on our Facebook and Instagram page. These workouts vary from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), dance fitness, upper body, lower body, core and so much more. We have made these routines easy to follow as our instructors have video demonstrations of the workout routines. If you don’t have dumbbells at home, don’t worry, all the equipment you’ll need are household goods such as laundry detergent or a backpack filled with items from your home. We are constantly updating and adding new workout routines to our social media platforms to help you stay fit at home while our facilities are closed. Certified Instructor, Scott Smith stated, “you can lose weight without using weights.” This can be achieved by performing regular exercise and having a caloric deficit. Choose an exercise routine that works for you and do it regularly throughout the week. Smith explains that you are at liberty to choose how you exercise in (1) 30-minute session, (2) fifteenminute sessions, (3) ten-minute sessions, or (6) fiveminute sessions, whatever fits your lifestyle. If you fell out of your fitness routine, don’t worry. There’s this thing called the principle of reversibility that states that consistent training triggers long term adaptations that make it easier to restore fitness following periods of inactivity. This is because new satellite cells remain intact during the deconditioning period, but they activate quickly when training resumes! When it comes to food, you need to be smart about your eating habits. It’s the way you choose the things you eat.


try it out

Choose homemade meals over fast food or eat fruit and vegetables over chips and chocolate. Don’t forget to take your vitamins! Eat every 2-4 hours to help boost your body’s fat burning potential and your metabolism. If you don’t eat enough, your body goes into starvation protection mode and conserves calories, stores fat and burns muscles. A very important fitness tip that we want you to know is that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Office of the Surgeon General has stated that regular exercise is the single most important lifestyle practice people can undertake to enhance wellness. It lowers the risk of premature death from all causes, including coronary artery disease, cancer and accidents. Yes, your body has a better sense of balance when you exercise, which can help prevent accidents of all sorts! The recommended amount of regular exercise for adults is at least 150 minutes per week. When you do the math that amounts to 30 minutes a day. There are 1440 minutes per day — we challenge you to give up only 30 of them to increase your health, lifespan and well-being. Regardless of your profession and your fitness or health goals, any physical activity is better than none. Go for a walk, take the stairs, or do one of our quick and easy athome workouts. Close your eyes again. Envision the best version of yourself — healthy, happy and fit. Take control of your health, choose a workout routine that fits your lifestyle, and make it fun. It’s time to start giving 30 minutes of your day to start living better and living that dream!

Try these sample workouts to do on your own based on your fitness abilities: SAMPLE WARM-UP: 30 sec jumping jacks 30 sec high knees 30 sec front kick toe touches 30 sec rear glute kicks SAMPLE WORKOUT 1: (High intensity, can be modified) Exercise: Sprints or Jump Roping Rounds: 10 Duration of each round: 20 sec Rest after each round: 30 sec** SAMPLE WORKOUT 2: (Bodyweight) Rounds: 3-5 (Rest for 30 sec after each round**) 30 sec squats 30 sec push-ups 30 sec glute bridge to sit-up 30 sec burpees 30 sec rear lunges 30 sec mountain climbers SAMPLE COOL DOWN: Hold each stretch for 20 seconds Standing hamstring stretch Standing quadriceps stretch Chest stretch Side Bend stretch Seated Groin stretch Lower Back stretch Upper Back stretch **Rest longer to modify to your fitness capabilities**



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Take a Hike no really ... take a hike BY RACHELLE PHILLIPS FAMILY & MWR MARKETING

Staying at home can get really boring fast. So why not, take a hike! Are you aware of the many hiking trails available in the El Paso area? These trails range from easy to more advanced terrain. Listed below are just some of the hiking trails to visit, however, due to COVID-19 check their hours of operations, any reservation requirements and restrictions in place before heading out. Haven’t been on a hike here in El Paso yet? Here are some guidelines to follow and some must haves to make your hike safe and comfortable. Pick the right trail: You are the best person to gauge your ability. Research the best hiking trail for you and your family. Start early: No one likes to wake up super early on a weekend, however if you start early you will have a chance to enjoy the scenery before the temperature peaks between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Clothing and Gear: You’ll want to wear breathable, light weight and loose fitting clothing. Keep your head covered as well and don’t forget those hiking shoes and sunscreen.

Stay hydrated: While hiking your body can lose about a liter of water every hour and in hot climates it can double. So, be sure to bring more water than you think you need and sip often. Try not to chug water, that can actually do more harm than good. Bring snacks: When sweating, you not only need to rehydrate, you also need to replace sodium and potassium. Here is your chance to snack on trail mix, starchy fruit and electrolyte drinks. Remember to rest: This is the perfect time to pack a small lunch and truly enjoy each other’s company. Find an area with shade to sit down and relax. Give your muscles a chance to recover and allow your body to cool down. Most importantly remember to enjoy yourself. Need a trekking pole or cooler? Outdoor Recreation offers equipment rentals. So, before you head out to purchase any equipment, check out the list at www.bliss.armymwr.com and search, Outdoor Recreation. Lost Dog Trail Head (Northwest El Paso)

Ron Coleman Trailhead (Trans Mountain-Northeast El Paso)

Pat O’Rourke Memorial Hike/Bike Trail (Northwest El Paso)

McKelligon Canyon (Northeast El Paso)

Tom Mays Park (Trans Mountain-Westside El Paso)

Palisades Canyon Loop (Central El Paso)

Pipeline Trail (Northeast El Paso)

Rio Grande Riverpark Trail System (West El Paso)

Billy Rogers Arroyo (Central El Paso)

Chuck Heinrich Memorial Park (Northeast El Paso)

Nations Tobin Park Walking Trail (Northeast El Paso)

Rio Bosque Park (Far Eastside El Paso)

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Looking for employment when arriving to a new installation can be frustrating for military spouses especially in a city as large as El Paso. This is why the Department of Defense created the Employment Readiness Program (ERP). To help ease this frustration, the ERP at Army Community Service (ACS) offers several avenues to assist clients with their employment needs. They offer one on one appointments to gather information and customize services to your needs. One of those services is civilian and federal résumé writing. This service will help teach you how to create and tailor your résumé to the job you are applying for. Another service offered is interviewing techniques practice. A mock interview will be conducted with you, whether you are just practicing and want to


become more comfortable with the process, or if you have a scheduled interview and you want to practice for a specific position. There are a multitude of classes offered, from résumé writing and interviewing to using social media for your job search and owning your own business. During this time of social distancing, the ERP is still here to assist. We are able to conduct appointments via phone and email. The program is also using Facebook Live to post videos about employment related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance, call and leave a message at 915-569-5838, messages are checked daily. You can also email us at erpftbliss@gmail.com or you can find us on Facebook, search Fort Bliss Employment Readiness Program.


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When you think of Army Community Service (ACS) Family Advocacy Program (FAP), do you think of stress management or self-care? If you are like most people, probably not. FAP is more than Victim Advocacy and New Parent Support, it’s there for your mental and emotional wellbeing. There are classes intended to help you be the best version of yourself. It does not matter if you are single or married FAP has a class for you. If you are single and tired of relationships that seem to go nowhere, perhaps, you are going about the dating game the wrong way. P.R.E.P (How not to fall for a Jerk or Jerkette) class gives you the tools to maneuver the dating game and give you the skills to take you out of the game all together, if that is your goal. Are you in a committed relationship already? Couples Communication classes can help build on the foundation that you already have, by giving you tools for effective communication. Learn how to speak to your partners love language, and be able to have a Scream Free Marriage. It does not matter if you are single or married, have children or just dealing with people at work, how you handle those relationships can cause your stress levels to go up and communication is just a part of it. Stress management is more than learning how to communicate with others, it’s also about learning how to take care of yourself and learning when your body is giving cues that your stress levels are too high. Managing your stress is also taking care of yourself … self-care. There are numerous things you can do to help manage your stress. Meditation usually comes to mind when talking page 36



about stress. There are many different forms of meditation, such as, mindfulness meditation — being aware of sounds around you, the texture of materials you are encountering, the smells you notice. Guided meditation involves listening to someone guide you through the process, many of these can be found on YouTube. Visual meditation where you imagine you are in your “happy place” really letting your mind go there, and prayer — spending time with your higher being. All those things can help bring your stress levels down. If meditation is not your thing, try some deep breathing exercises, a simple one to try is to breathe in through your nose counting to four and breathe out from your mouth — lips slightly parted — counting to 4. This simple breathing technique can help to re-center you quickly, so it is ideal when you are going into a stressful situation. Using Aromatherapy can also be a way to calm yourself. Lavender is always a good approach if you are just starting out with aromatherapy. One thing to keep in mind before you venture into the world of aromatherapy, research the oils you want to use, some oils are not suitable for pregnant women, children or pets. Not only are the techniques mentioned good for stress, but they can also help with anger management as well. If you want to learn more techniques for effective communication, parenting, stress or anger management, give ACS FAP a try. Remember, we are here for your physical and emotional wellbeing. For more information about class schedules, call 915-568-9129. You can also check out the FAP Facebook page for more hints and videos on how to be the best you possible. www.bliss.armymwr.com


The coronavirus outbreak may affect many aspects of our military life, including financial readiness. “Nervous, anxious, uneasy…” these are some of the feelings our Soldiers and Families are experiencing as they consider how the coronavirus might impact them. Soldiers directly impacted by COVID-19 can seek assistance through Army Emergency Relief (AER). The Fort Bliss AER section is providing assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic for routine AER assistance requests. Depending on the circumstances, AER support provides emergency financial help with interest-free loans, grants or a combination of both. Every request is unique and considered on an individual basis. However, the program will remain flexible, available, and ready to assist to meet the needs of Soldiers and Families. Soldiers eligible for assistance include those receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) stop movement orders, canceled U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard deployments, etc. Before applying, Soldiers must first have an AER Form 101 signed by their unit commander or first sergeant. Despite the economic crunch associated with the pandemic, the Fort Bliss AER section is currently open and helping the military community. Much of the process of getting help from AER can be done on the phone or via encrypted email. The first step is to call the Fort Bliss AER at 915569-8376. If you and your family are experiencing financial challenges, while much has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, one constant remains, Fort Bliss AER stands ready to help Soldiers


and Families. It offers a number of services to help you take control and become financially stress free. Civilian Federal Employees: the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Funds (FEEA) is the only nonprofit organization devoted to provide emergency financial assistance to the civilian federal and postal public servants and their families. For more information, visit https://feea.org/. For more information about AER, call 915-5698376. If you would like to donate to the program, visit, http://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/.


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Fort Bliss Army Community Service (ACS) has adapted to the challenges that came with COVID-19 and implemented ways to continue a lot of the services provided with modern technology. New websites to process emergency loans, emails and telephone for communication, YouTube, Facebook, Microsoft Teams and Zoom to provide information, conduct briefings, teach classes and provide helpful hints. These are just some of the ways ACS has adapted to overcome the recent obstacles. ACS will keep you updated through MWR Marketing and the Fort Bliss Army Community Service Facebook page on classes and events. Here is a brief breakdown of the programs and how the services are currently delivered. Army Emergency Relief (AER): The Fort Bliss AER section is providing assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic for routine AER assistance requests. Depending on the circumstances, AER assistance provides emergency financial help with interest-free loans, grants or a combination of both. For more information, call 915-569-8376. Financial Readiness Program (FRP): If you have any questions or need information call FRP at 915-569-8376. Family Advocacy Program (FAP): Take a look at Fort Bliss Family Advocacy Program Facebook page which offers interactive videos to help you cope with stress and frustrations of being quarantined. Victim advocate services are available and provide comprehensive assistance and support to victims. The hotline can be accessed 24/7 at 915-269-2013. For additional assistance on FAP services call 915-5689129. Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP): Staff is helping Soldiers and Family members with their needs to include clearing and PCS challenges. If you need EFMP assistance, call 915-569-4227, ext.5. Relocation Program and Information and Referral (RELO and I&R): If you are in need of items from the Lending Closet, because of Permanent

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Change of Station (PCS), call to schedule an appointment. Check the Fort Bliss Army Community Service Facebook page for updates posted regularly. For more information, call 915-569-5375. Employment Readiness Program (ERP): Follow them on Facebook at Fort Bliss Employment Readiness Program for helpful videos and assistance. For more information, send a direct message on Facebook or email at erpftbliss@gmail.com. You can also call 915-569-5838 (messages are checked daily) or 915-569-5375 for additional assistance. Mobilization and Deployment (MOBDEP): Predeployment briefings and others are still being coordinated and conducted virtually upon request. For any questions you may have, call 915-569-5375 or 915-569-5500. Army Volunteer Corps (AVC): Visit Fort Bliss Volunteers Facebook page for general volunteer information or call 915-569-5500 or 915-569-5375. Army Family Team Building (AFTB) - For updates, follow the Fort Bliss Army Family Team Building Facebook page. For additional information, call 915569-5500 or 915-569-5375. Army Family Action Plan (AFAP): You can still submit issues through bliss.armymwr.com, search for AFAP and click on the link. Next, click on Fort Bliss Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) submission tab, complete the form and submit your issue. If you want more information, call 915-569-5500 or 915569-5375. Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC): Any services needed for Retirees are referred over to the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFLTAP) and Retirement Services. If you have question, call 915-568-6879 or 915-569-5375. Survivor Outreach Services (SOS): If you are in need of assistance during this hard time, SOS is currently closed, however they can still help, follow their Facebook page at SOS Fort Bliss or call 915569-2672 or 915-569-5375.


*classes reopening soon ARMY VOLUNTEER CORPS 250 Club Road | 915-569-4ACS

The Fort Bliss Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) supports the Army’s mission by promoting and strengthening volunteerism by uniting volunteer efforts, supporting professional management, enhancing volunteer career mobility, and establishing volunteer partnerships to support individual personal growth and life-long volunteer commitment. The Fort Bliss AVC office is the center for volunteer recruitment, referral, recognition and professional development for volunteers and volunteer leaders. Volunteers can be placed in a wide variety of positions throughout the installation and the El Paso community. Through volunteer service, volunteers can learn or improve skills and gain work experience to increase self-confidence and improve marketability for paid positions. Every minute and every hour that someone volunteers, they contribute to improving the quality of life of our community; therefore volunteers change the world. Join the movement to make our installation, our city, our nation a better place for all – Change the World, Volunteer! Email: fortblissvolunteer@yahoo.com Website: bliss.armymwr.com, search: AVC

INSTALLATION VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Interested in volunteering within the Fort Bliss or El Paso Community? The first place to start is the Installation Volunteer Orientation. This orientation provides information about available volunteer opportunities within the Fort Bliss and El Paso area. Community expectations and requirements of volunteering within our community and information on volunteer awards.

VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM The Fort Bliss AVC exclusively tracks volunteer hours by using the Volunteer Management Information System (VMIS) on the web at Army OneSource. The system was developed to give the Army a real-time snapshot of volunteer activities at any given time and any given installation. VMIS provides all of the tools needed to track AVC volunteer hours, manage and track volunteers, post open positions, print reports, and much more. VMIS is hands-on training or you can take it online at www. myarmyonesource.com.

COMMUNICATION STYLE ASSESSMENT The Communication Style Assessment is designed to identify an individual’s style of communication. They will discover how it affects the way they communicate and will be able use the tools provided to speed read another person's way of communicating and understand how to flex a style for effective communication.

ARMY FAMILY TEAM BUILDING FRC | 250 Club Road | 915-569-4ACS

Army Family Team Building (AFTB) is an educational program that provides training to prepare everyone in America’s Army to function at the highest level, given any situation. It improves personal resilience and family preparedness, which enhances overall Army readiness. Army Family Team Building’s free training is for (and taught by) Soldiers and Family members. Significant others and fiancées are welcome to attend! Learn about the Army way of life, how to manage it better and leadership skills. www.bliss.armymwr.com, search: aftb


COMMUNITY RESOURCES challenges and behavior of leaders in these roles. As well, as include Family Readiness Groups, Family Readiness Support identify effective feedback techniques to incorporate into their Assistants, Family Readiness Liaisons, staff functions, community resources, and Casualty Response Teams. DPTMS roles as leaders. Training Section publishes the schedule for the Commander/1SG WELCOME TO FORT BLISS Course. You will learn the organizational, chain of command, basic unit Phone: 915-744-2767 and rank structure of the military. As well as, learning about the Soldier Family Readiness Groups and many social functions to COMMUNITY RESOURCES This is an opportunity for Soldiers, spouses, veterans, and engage in and enjoy military life. retirees to learn about the community resources Fort Bliss, BOUNCE DON’T CRACK El Paso County, the State of Texas and national organizations Three hour concept block that will cover the following classes: provide. This briefing provides attendees with a wealth of Resiliency during Crisis & Grief and overcoming stress. knowledge on these agencies and the services they provide to the community. COMMUNICATING THROUGH CONFLICT Learners will explore the causes and benefits of conflict and through exercises. They will be able to apply conflict management approaches and develop effective communication strategies to communicate, as leaders, to teams or individuals.




Learn to bounce back when the stressors of everyday life start getting you down by attending the ACS Resilience Training. The training will enhance your effectiveness and well-being by teaching you the skills to build mental toughness, learn what WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH your character strengths are, build strong relationships, and Learners will examine change, appraise conflict and access how to hunt the good stuff, focusing on the positive rather than time management skills and techniques that help them develop the negative. positive managing strategies to successfully navigate the PREDEPLOYMENT RESILIENCE FOR SPOUSES demands and changes that come with military life. Deployments can increase stress and change the roles of Family KNOW YOUR TEAM… members. This class will focus on what Family members can Learners will identify their leadership approach, examine the do to decrease stress and emotional disturbances during this alternative styles of others to incorporate various approaches time. It will also offer tips and techniques to Family members into their personal and professional lives. Leaders will also to help cope with the emotional stress during this transition. gain skills to differentiate between the role of a coach and of a mentor. They will assess his or her strengths/challenges and POST DEPLOYMENT RESILIENCE FOR SPOUSES behavior of leaders in these roles, as well as identify effective Homecoming can be as emotional and stressful as deployment feedback techniques to incorporate into their roles as leaders. for Soldiers and their Families. This class will focus on tips and techniques to help the Family prepare for their loved WHAT’S THE MILITARY LIFE? one’s return. We will provide information on how to make the Participants will understand the mission, language, transition during the Soldier’s homecoming. commitment required, and challenges for the military life. They will be able to communicate, develop and/or update their KEY CONTACT own realistic expectations and plans to thrive in this military Key callers are a vital part of the SFRG leadership team and lifestyle. perform an essential SFRG mission activity. This training provides the information that is most critical to understanding WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? and performing the key caller role. Participants will be able to identify, differentiate, and understand how to access community resources. They’ll SFRG LEADER TRAINING learn what military benefits and entitlements are available to The Soldier Family Readiness Group (SFRG) Course is provided Soldiers and their families. by the Army Community Service (ACS), Mobilization and Deployment Program. The training is available for all SFRG MOBILIZATION & DEPLOYMENT members and is offered once a month. The following classes FRC | 250 Cub Road | 915-569-5500 are required to receive a SFRG Leader Certificate: Creating The Mobilization and Deployment Program provides active- and Maintaining a SFRG, Leadership for SFRGs, Building Your duty, reserve units and guard units with pre- and post- SFRG Volunteers, Making Contact (Phone tree Point of Contact), deployment/mobilization briefings, Soldier Family Readiness Newsletter for SFRGs, Money Matters, Building Your SFRG – Group assistance, information and referral services, resource Getting Started, Bringing it all Together. materials, and Operation R.E.A.D.Y. (Resources for Education www.bliss.armymwr.com, search:SFRG About Deployment and You) training. Training modules provide practical instruction pertaining to ongoing readiness. Topics FUND CUSTODIAN include: Understanding and Planning for Military Separation SFRG Fund Custodians and alternates will identify resources and Pre-deployment Ongoing Readiness, Coping with needed to operate a SFRG by learning about various forms Separation, and Financial Planning. The materials are designed of funding available, setting up a bank account, the role and to support unit commanders in preparing service members, responsibilities of a SFRG Fund Custodian, fund-raising, Civilian employees, and their families for military operations. donations and solicitation.

The purpose of the Care Team is to offer short-term care and Participants will be able to identify and recognize personality support to Families of deceased and seriously wounded Soldiers traits. They will learn how to use effective communication skills until the Family’s own support structure is in place. Care Teams and develop strategies to help them build and maintain healthy are not mandatory, but are an additional way battalions can personal and professional relationships. provide valuable support to Families.



Learners will identify their innate leadership approach and examine the alternative styles of others to incorporate various approaches into their personal and professional lives. Leaders will also gain skills to differentiate between the role of coach and of a mentor. They will be able to assess their strengths,

Rear Detachment Command (RDC) Training is offered monthly during the Commanders/1SG Course given by Garrison Command Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). RDC training focuses on the command responsibilities of the Soldier Family Readiness program to


The Soldier Family Readiness Liaison (SFRL) course is designed to prepare Soldiers who are appointed as SFRLs to assist with the operational, logistical and administrative aspects of the SFRG. Between the command and the SFRG volunteer, the SFRL needs to know the ins and outs of the SFRG and how their role can assist both the command and the volunteers.

EMPLOYMENT READINESS 2494 Ricker Road | 915-569-5838 The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) deliver’s weekly orientations to educate spouses on services available to them and employment opportunities in JUL | AUG | SEP

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES the local area. Employment Orientation is required before attending all other ERP classes. Registration is encouraged.





Losing a loved one is an especially difficult time for those left behind. In addition to the grief, the Family will suffer and be faced with several issues and questions about a life built around the Army. Some of these will be addressed immediately by the Casualty Assistance Officer (CAO), but some will not surface for many months or years — long after the Casualty Assistance process has ended. Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) can help. SOS is a holistic, multi-agency approach to deliver services specifically to surviving Family members. The supportive staff is there to assist with whatever issues they might have. The services are also offered to Retirees and non-Active-Duty incidents. The SOS mission is, “To embrace PLANNING & BUDGETING & CAR BUYING & reassure Survivors, they are continually linked to the Army This class will help you evaluate your current financial Family through a unified support program that enables them situation, obtain the basic principles of planning and budgeting to remain an important part of the Army Family for as long as to achieve financial readiness. Learn the basics of car buying, they desire.” get insurance advice that’s crucial before buying a new or used 241 Sheridan Road | 915-568-5970 vehicle.

This class will explain the different types of accounts that exist and the importance of understanding your credit report, so you EMPLOYMENT ORIENTATION The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) deliver’s weekly can maintain your security clearance, debt to income ratio, and orientations to educate spouses on services available to them tips on how to improve your credit score. and employment opportunities in the local area. Employment DEBT MANAGEMENT Orientation is required before attending all other ERP classes. Learn how to set up a plan, contact creditors and negotiate Registration is encouraged. interest rates, to establish a new monthly payment. The end goal is to pay off your consumer debt in its entirety to reach TEN STEPS TO A FEDERAL JOB Applying for federal employment is different than in financial freedom. private industry. This class shows you how to succeed in the government’s intricate hiring process. Both first-time applicants and those already within the government system will learn something new here, as application processes change over time.

ACE YOUR NEXT JOB INTERVIEW This class will cover types of job interviews, preparation for the meeting, and the three parts of an interview. Learn how to answer common, behaviour-based, difficult and illegal interview questions. Proper follow-up techniques, job fair etiquette, appropriate attire, and tips on salary negotiation will also be covered.

LET’S START YOUR OWN BUSINESS The workshop will be conducted by the technical assistance providers of the Women’s Business Border Center of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The experts in business development will cover the key elements of formalizing a business plan, financial projections, and the basics of licensing/ permits. The session will also provide information on the various lending options that are available for small businesses. Make sure to attend this free session to turn your business idea into a reality.


Victim advocates provide clear, accurate information on the Learn the basics of debt management and the principals to available avenues for reporting domestic abuse, child abuse, reconcile your bank statement in order stay on top of purchases and sexual assault. Victim advocates provide essential made with your debit card. support, liaison services and care to the victim. Responsibilities include providing crisis intervention, referral and ongoing nonARMY EMERGENCY RELIEF The Army Emergency Relief (AER) provides financial assistance clinical support, including information on available options and to active and retired Soldiers and their dependents when there resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions is a valid need. Loans are interest free. Spouses requesting about the case. Victim advocate services will continue until AER assistance must have a current Special Power of Attorney the victim states support is no longer needed. To speak with (SPOA), military ID card and documentation to support their a Victim Advocate, call the Family Advocacy Program during request. Under the Commander and First Sergeant Quick normal business hours or the Domestic Violence Hotline after Assist Program, Commanders or First Sergeants may approve hours or on weekends. You are not alone.

assistance of up to $2,000 for Active-Duty Soldiers. If you are not near an Army installation, you can go to any Military Aid Society or contact the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337. AER provides scholarships for spouses and children of active and retired Soldiers, orphans and dependents of deceased WRITING A WINNING RESUME Soldiers. Scholarship applications are available at www.aerhq. Create an effective resume or transform the one you already org. have into a powerful tool that will get you interviews. This workshop will lead you through a self-assessment series so TSP MILITARY that you gain extensive knowledge about the product you are In this crucial class participants will learn how to set goals marketing, YOU! to achieve a healthy retirement. You’ll learn the differences between short-term savings and long-term investments. You SOCIAL MEDIA & YOUR JOB SEARCH will obtain a thorough understanding of all TSP Funds, its This class provides participants with the information needed components, rules, matching contributions, tools, references, to learn how to utilize Social Media when searching for and the timeline of the Thrift Savings Plan. employment in today’s competitive job market, how to Network effectively and Career Exploration skills with a focus on SUPPORT SERVICES LinkedIn.

FINANCIAL READINESS 2494 Ricker Road | 915-569-4ACS

The Financial Readiness Program (FRP) offers counseling and training for Soldiers and their Families. FRP works with Army Emergency Relief (AER) to ensure emergency assistance is available to meet a valid financial need. The mission of the FRP is to reduce indebtedness, minimize the need for emergency financial assistance and prevent financial difficulties. FRP helps Soldiers and their families live within their means and provide solutions for a brighter financial future. For more information on classes or appointments, visit bliss.armymwr.com, search FRP or call 915-569-8376.



The Army Family Action Plan provides Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, Army Civilians, Family members, Survivors, and Retirees a voice in shaping their standards of living by identifying issues and concerns for Army Senior Leadership resolution. Since its inception in 1983, the AFAP remains the only such partnership between a branch of the United States military and its constituents. Issues can be submitted at the Garrison Army Community Service office or to a unit Family Programs liaison. The needs of the Army community remain in the forefront of Army Senior Leadership. AFAP is the primary tool to communicate the important issues facing Soldiers, Army Civilians, Families, Survivors, and Retirees. Information provided through the AFAP process gives commanders and leaders insight into current satisfaction detractors, quality of life needs, and expectations of Army constituents. Leadership uses the information to effect changes that improve standards of living and support programs. These changes foster a satisfied, informed, and resilient Army Community. Issues can be submitted online at bliss.armymwr.com search, “AFAP” or www.myarmyonesource.com. You can also submit issues by visiting 250 Club Road or 2494 Ricker Road, or utilize one of the many boxes around the installation.

The Financial Readiness Program offers counseling to individuals seeking assistance in a variety of financial situations to include: • Consumer Credit Counseling • Personal Financial Coaching • Credit Report Reviewing • Consumer Advocate • Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance • Financial Education Classes 241 Sheridan Road | 915-568-6272 page 40




2494 Ricker Road | 915-568-9129 Hotline: 915-269-2013

FAMILY ADVOCACY PROGRAM Family Advocacy is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and Families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services. Seminars and workshops are available to you, your unit or Soldier Family Readiness Group. Unit commanders are encouraged to contact their Family Advocacy Program Manager/Staff to schedule their unit’s mandatory AR 608-18 training or seminars that meet their unit’s specific needs. 2494 Ricker Road | 915-569-9129

SOLDIER & FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER The Soldier & Family Assistance Center (SFAC) is a place where Warriors in Transition and their Family members receive assistance through a number of holistic services tailored to their needs. The SFAC’s welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff foster an environment conducive to physical, spiritual and mental healing. Their mission is to provide exceptional support by being courteous, professional and relevant. The Fort Bliss SFAC is widely recognized as the premier provider of innovative services to WTs and their families in support of the Warrior Transition Battalion. Their goal is to be available and convenient for WTs and their families. Services requiring less than a full-time presence are available at the SFAC at designated times. Additional services are provided through priority off-site appointments coordinated by the SFAC staff. 250 Club Road | 568-6879

EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY MEMBER PROGRAM The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and Civilian agencies to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, multiagency approach for community support, housing, medical, educational, and personnel services to families with special needs. The EFMP is a Department of the Army program which www.bliss.armymwr.com

ON-POST HOUSING 915-564-0795






915-569-5644: MAIN POST 915-744-3480: EAST BLISS



functions under the provisions of Army Regulation (AR) 60875. It is designed to assist active-duty personnel during the reassignment process by taking into account Exceptional Family Members (EFM) with special physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual needs. In a dual military Family, both Soldiers must be enrolled. Enrollment is based on the medical and education requirements of Family members of active-duty personnel and must be updated every three years or if the condition(s) changes.

915-569-4227 (EXT. 0)




915-568-4693 / 915-568-0106








support system to help you and your Family make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves as smoothly as possible. We minimize the stress of relocation by offering resources to simplify the moving process throughout your military career. 2494 Ricker Road | 915-569-4227 (ext. 6) fortblissacsrelocation@gmail.com

with your immigration questions. The USCIS officer will answer questions regarding the immigration process and relating questions. This service is provided at no cost to all DOD ID cardholders.


Learn to be an effective sponsor in accordance to AR 600-88-1-1.

The lending closet is stocked with basic household items to use 2494 Ricker Road | 915-569-4227 (ext. 5) before your household goods arrive or after you have packed out for your new assignment. Items may be borrowed for 30 NEW PARENT SUPPORT PROGRAM days. Please provide your ID card and a copy of your PCS orders. The Army offers a complete program of parent education and Unaccompanied spouse will also need a Power of Attorney. support services of which the New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is a part. All Army installations provide services that INFORMATION AND REFERRAL include health counselling provided by Army Community Health Information & Referral (I&R) serves as the central point of Nurses (CHN), as well as parent education classes and play distribution for ACS information, flyers, brochures, Fort Bliss’ mornings. These services target families with children, 0-3 upcoming events and activities. I&R provides general post years of age. Participation in any of these activities is strictly information such as phone numbers, building locations and voluntary and there are no time limits imposed on duration not readily identifiable social service organizations. Computers of service but families generally stay involved at this level for with internet and printer capabilities, copy machine, send and 4-6 months. Referrals for NPSP services are accepted via self- receive faxes, and DSN public phones are available for DOD ID referral, health professionals, and command. cardholders. No medical documents can be accessed, printed, 2494 Ricker Road | 915-568-9129 scanned or faxed. Computer lab hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. PARENTING/LIFE SKILLS/SAFETY/EDUCATION to 3:30 p.m. The Army Family Advocacy Program coordinates and provides numerous programs, services and activities that support WELCOME PACKET & RELOCATION COUNSELING our Families. Their goal is to develop parenting skills and If you are PCSing to a new installation and want to learn knowledge, reduce stressors that may increase the risk of child more about your gaining installation, we can provide you with abuse or neglect and help Families cope with adjustments of welcome packets on any military installation worldwide! If desired, we will also be happy to provide you with a one-on-one military life. relocation counseling. 2494 Ricker Road | 915-568-9129


SPANISH CLASSES Immerse yourself in your new community by learning Spanish. Classes are free and daycare is included for children registered with Child Youth Services (CYS). Classes are offered every quarter. We offer basic and intermediate Spanish. For more information, call 915-569-4227, ext. 0.

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH FOR ESL STUDENTS Do you want to improve your English skills and make new friends? Lots of pronunciation practice and some writing skills for those wanting to build confidence in their English speaking abilities. Free class and child care vouchers for those registered with CYS. Classes are offered 3 times a year. For more information, call ACS at 915-569-4227, ext. 0.


Join us for this amazing two-day newcomers’ orientation for adult Family members. During a fun-filled orientation participants will learn about the services available at ACS and other community agencies. There will be a tour of Fort Bliss and you will learn about some of the local highlights of your new home in El Paso! It’s a great way to get to know your surroundings and meet others who are new to the installation! IMMIGRATION COUNSELING Registration is required and hourly child care costs are covered RELOCATION ASSISTANCE Moving is part of life for Soldiers and their Families. The The El Paso Field Office of the US Citizenship and Immigration for those registered with CYS. For more information, call 915Relocation Readiness Program offers a comprehensive Services (USCIS) maintains an information office to assist you 569-4227, ext. 0. @blissmwr


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Milo’s Firework Fun!

Help Milo light up the sky and show his patriotic spirit! Start from the bottom of the maze & work your way out.


Stay up to date, check out our website at www.bliss.armymwr.com.




AVAILABLE: Monday, Wednesday & Friday Staff will be taking phone requests from 8:30-9:30am, followed by pick-up from 10-11:30am on Pershing Circle. For Adult Side items please call 915-568-1902, for Children or Young Adult items please call 915-568-6156. For a complete list of instructions please visit FACEBOOK Fort Bliss Libraries or www.bliss.armymwr.com search "Fort Bliss Libraries"

bliss NOW


MWR Marketing Bldg. 12, Pershing Rd. Fort Bliss, TX 79916

Sponsored by:

$25 /person


$30 at the door

VIP $40/person

includes one drink, reserved seating, party favors & snacks!

OCTOBER 3 • 12PM Doors Open: 10am • Game Starts: 12pm Early birds, grab your spot and play for additional prizes!

Centennial • 11199 Sgt. E. Churchill St. Info: 915-568-2554 or bliss.armymwr.com Tickets available Sept. 1 - Oct. 2 at the Centennial & LTS Freedom Crossing.

Tickets are limited • Any remaining tickets will be available at the door • Prices include a paper bingo pack

Open to DoD ID Cardholders & their guests 18+. VIP IS PRE-SALE ONLY (not available day of event).

Profile for Fort Bliss Family and MWR

Bliss NOW Summer Magazine 2020