Hi guys! I am in California for vacation and wanted to have a few guest posts share with you about where they call home at the moment! If you would like to guest post about your duty station or location, please email me at soldierswifecrazylife (at) gmail (dot) com
My next guest post is from Sarah who blogs at My Life, Army Style.
I have been an Army wife for 5 years now and I definitely view this life as an adventure. I currently live in El Paso/Ft. Bliss, TX with my husband and 3 adorable cats, and my blog is quite a random mixture of food, life updates, opinion pieces, and the military.
Hello from Ft. Bliss!
I’m excited to be participating in this guest series introducing various duty stations, and I will go ahead and announce up front that this review is going to be mostly positive. =)
Ft. Bliss is definitely an Army post that has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years. I got quite a few “Ugh, I’m sorry” responses when I found out we were moving there. I think part of this came from back when it was just a small, old Air Defense post, but it has grown SO MUCH in the past few years.
Last year they finished a brand new PX/commissary/theater/restaurants/shopping plaza called Freedom Crossing, and it is unlike anything on any other military installation at this point in time. Check out the link for it below and prepare to be jealous! The theater is fantastic and shows movies as soon as off-post theaters do. Restaurants currently include Buffalo Wild Wings, an Irish Pub, Dairy Queen, Smashburger, and a sushi place, along with the usual PX food court options, and Texas Roadhouse will be opening a location soon as well. It is always a happening place to be on weekend evenings, reminding me of a mini downtown city center. The gyms are all new or recently remodeled, nicely outfitted, and offer outstanding options for fitness classes and events. None of them offer childcare but there are CDCs nearby. Bliss is very good at planning fun events throughout the year and there is always plenty going on for families to do.
Housing is decent on post. Availability is low right now due to some units being moved here from overseas, but it is beginning to level out. A few neighborhoods are old and need remodeling, and do not seem to be worth BAH from what I have heard. But higher enlisted and officer housing is very nice. An advantage to Bliss is that finding nice, affordable neighborhoods off post is not very difficult. There are many parts of town that are safe and nice-looking, within 15-20 minutes from post. Schools on post and off seem to be rather hit or miss, just like any post or large city, and seem to boil down to individual experiences most of the time. I do not have any kids though so this is an area I’m not very familiar with.
The city of El Paso can be a little difficult to get accustomed to, but if you go into it with an open mind and a determination to appreciate something different, it is very likeable! There is plenty of shopping, including 3 malls and one outlet mall, a thriving downtown area with lots of events and concerts, incredible food (and not just Mexican, although there is certainly plenty of that!), and plenty of outdoor opportunities in the immediate area and within a few hours of driving distance. The city takes safety very seriously and as such there is very little to worry about despite being so close to such a turbulent border city as Juarez. Some people find the scenery here to be ugly and the weather intolerable, but I personally think the mountains and desert views (and the sunsets/sunrises!) to be breathtaking, and the dry heat is so much easier to take than the humid summers elsewhere in the country. And you will certainly never be low in Vitamin D! =)
I hope this gives you a little peek into what it’s like at Ft. Bliss, TX and if you ever get orders here, remember this Army wife has no horror stories to share! =)