Fort Bliss Army Review (2)

Your Name (if you would like it to appear): P.W.

Base Name: Fort Bliss

Base Location: El Paso, Texas

How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present) May
20, 2009 – present

What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.)
Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?
We chose to live off post. The wait list for on-post housing here is
horrible. I spoke with a wife recently who said they had just been
offered housing and they had been waiting for a little over a year. For
off-post housing, the west side is pretty nice, the east side has a lot
of new building going on. We chose the northeast side of town. It is a
really easy commute for my husband and there are some really nice, yet
affordable neighborhoods. Like anywhere else, you have to use common
sense. The neighborhoods are pretty self explanatory by the way the
look. You can’t be put off by bars though. I was originally really
skeptical that everyone had bars on their windows and doors … but
apparently it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad neighborhood.

Rate the PX & Commissary.
The PX is nice. The commissary is a typical commissary. They are doing A
LOT of construction and expanding the base which is kind of pain b/c
stores are relocating and parking can be tough. But it is looking like
it will be really nice when they are all done. The PXtra was nice when
we were looking for furniture and the POV re-sale lot was a great place
to start looking when we were in the market for a new vehicle.

Activities on base?
On post there is are pools, gyms, paintball, golf ….

Active Spouses Club?
There is an NCO Wives Club and an Officer’s Wives Club

Things to do in area?
Oh Goodness … there is a lot to do around here. There is minor league
baseball, arena football, a pro soccer team, at least a dozen state or
national parks within a 2 hour drive (we love Elephant Butte Lake and
Bottomless Lakes in New Mexico), hiking, camping, rock climbing, there
is a bicycling club. El Paso puts out a great publication called “The
Scene” once a month that has everything that is going on in or around
El Paso. There are a lot of great historic sites, museums, and even 1
of the 11 holocaust museums is here. There are several Wal-Marts,
Targets, Malls, and there is outlet shopping off of I-10 at exit 6.
There are plenty of Starbucks for the coffee lovers and plenty of the
big chain fast food and sit down restaurants. Army personnel are not
allowed into Mexico and I don’t recommend it either. The border patrol
does a great job keeping the drugs and violence in Juarez but it still
is just right across the river. There are plenty of movie theaters, and
a water park and a theme park.

School System?
Not sure yet … not quite there yet

Any colleges in area?
EPCC, UTEP, NMSU, and several vocational schools

Jobs? (on post and off)
I am a nurse so finding a job wasn’t all that difficult for me but due
to huge Latino population here most (if not all) employers want (and
some require) employees to speak English and Spanish. Even as a nurse,
I am not getting paid as much as I should because my Spanish is hit and
miss and they really want fluency.

Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?
With all of the state and national parks around you can easily occupy a
weekend for pretty minimal park entrance fees. The mountains are
beautiful and the views from some places are breath-taking. The
evenings are reasonably pleasant and I am definitely enjoying life sans
NC mosquitoes!

Least favorite aspect?
I am from North Carolina so the move here was a huge culture shock. Not
to mention, it may be dry, but the sun is really intense here. My
husband and I did (and are still doing) quite a battle with the whole
different set of allergens here. I never had allergies before b/c I
grew up and lived on the east coast but the lack of humidity and the
different environment turned my sinuses into Niagra Falls! I also miss
refrigerated air. Here they use swamp coolers and master cools (freon
based units are few and far between) and they just don’t cut it for me.
I miss being able to set my thermostat for a certain temperature and
that’s what my house was. The evaporative coolers are completely
dependent on the temperature outside so, the hotter it is outside …
the warmer it is in your house!

Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)
Definitely check out “The Scene”

Any other tips?
It may be hot, but get out and explore! But definitely research a
little before you venture out. We took our dogs hiking early one
morning and discovered that early morning is the best time to run
across rattlesnakes! Ooops! Rattled nerves but no injuries. People are,
for the most part, friendly and willing to help. Keep sunscreen around
and (in the words of Infantry NCOs and Officers) HYDRATE!



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  1. we will be moving there soon probly the end of august or 1st week of september were from oklahoma so it will be something we are use to..

  2. You’re right. The upper Northeast neighborhood would be the best area to live. It’s not necessary to have bars on windows which is incredibly dangerous if there should ever be a fire. An alarm system, insurance, and possibly a great guard dog are the best ways to keep the family safe & the insurance can replace personal property. Yes, it’s hot but it’s extremely dry air. You can always go to a water theme park, buy a swimming pool, or even drink iced tea and sink your feet in cold water in a kiddy pool. :)) Think of all the barbecues and hiking trips.

  3. I have also heard the northeast side provides the best neighborhoods to live in. We will be pcsing to Bliss by Oct 10, but we aren’t sure if we will all move there. Does anyone know about the deployment schedules? Particularly for the 4th Brigade 1st Armory division?

    Thanks 🙂

  4. I grew up in El Paso & now have been here with my husband for 3 years, its nice to hear someone with a positive outlook on the area!

    Bars on the windows are definitely not a sign of a bad neighborhood, my son goes to school in a very nice neighborhood & plenty of homes have bars on the windows. Also, I think its harder these days to find a house for under BAH, so not worrying about paying for a security system in addition to rent/ mortgage & utilities is great, & with my husband deployed, I’ll take all the security I can no matter where I live. & inside the house is a button or knob to open the bars in case of fire.
    A lot of on post housing is being updated, & depending on rank & how much you bug them, you can get in faster. We & others we know got pushed up the list by being ‘the squeeky wheel’.

    Schools-My son goes to a fantastic school off post this year, but I’ve heard & experienced a lot of horrible things with the elementary schools on post. If you’re child needs anything extra from their teacher, don’t expect it on post.

  5. I have lived here my entire life and I do not know why everyone says the northeast is the best part of town to live in. Yes it is nice but it has a reputation for higher crime rate. I would reccomend the west or the far east side.

  6. We just left El Paso after being stationed there for 5 years. (Until 2013) We lived in the North East off from Diana and LOVED our neighborhood. The whole time we were there we never encountered any kind of crime in our area. All the locals welcomed us with open arms. The bars on the windows are more for decor reason because even the new homes have them. As far as those being a safety issue , they have a latch that opens the bars from the inside so you would be able to escape a fire. El Paso gets a lot of negative hype that is not true. Yes it is hot there, but tons of stuff to see and do. The culture is wonderful to experience. The new PX and commissary are very nice, and the post is still expanded. My advice to any new comers would to be open minded, don’t judge it by how it looks. Get out and do all that you can! Go to WalGreens and pick up a free copy of The Scene and it will tell you EVERYTHING that is going on. There are lots of free activities and not expensive things to do! Lots of schools there also. I miss it! Now we are in Alaska and it is quit different for sure!

  7. We live on post. We were unfortunate enough to get an old house. The housing website boasts on & on about their new housing I was hopeful before we got our house. The old housing is oooold. Calling it rundown would make it sound nice. Lots of problems. I hate it here. Not just on post but off too. It’s desolate & depressing. The bars on the windows off post make me think its unsafe here. as far as stuff to do…We went to the Zoo. It was nice even if small. We came from beautiful lush Germany to the middle of no where. I really hate El Paso. I cannot wait to leave!!!

  8. Hi,
    My husband and I just married this weekend and I’m moving there in 2 weeks. I’ve heard horrible/good things about it. Some questions I have. How long does bah take to kick in? Do I need to carry some sort of protection on me down there? Ids the northeast a good place to live? That’s where our apartment will be. How is life down here in a realistic view

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