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    FMWR Loeza Soldier Activity Center bolsters quality of life for Bliss troops

    FMWR Loeza Soldier Activity Center bolsters quality of life for Bliss troops

    Photo By David Poe | William Beaumont Army Medical Center Soldiers tackle the ropes course at the Staff...... read more read more

    FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES

    11.30.2018

    Story by David Poe 

    Fort Bliss Public Affairs Office

    Twenty-somethings mingle by the vending machines while a college basketball game plays on a large television somewhere in the distance.

    Meanwhile, out in the entrance area, along the outer perimeter of the indoor rock wall, there’s chatter as musclebound young adults climb, slide, drop and tumble all over the facility centerpiece.

    In the air, you may be able to smell a microwave pizza.

    This may read like a scene from a university campus activity center, and you’re almost right, but it’s actually from a one-of-a-kind Army facility on East Fort Bliss — the $8 million Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza Soldier Activity Center.

    Located at 20732 Constitution Road, the SAC was dedicated in 2012 as a part of the $6 billion in investment at Fort Bliss following the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commission decision to increase troop numbers at Fort Bliss with the welcoming of the 1st Armored Division and other units, and their families.

    The SAC is named after Loeza, an El Paso native who was assigned to 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and died from injuries suffered due to indirect fire at FOB Shank, Afghanistan, May 25, 2012.

    Last week, Joe Fedak, the FMWR facility manager, said what makes the SAC different from other facilities on base is their main audience.

    “This place is about the Soldiers first,” Fedak said. “While we do have set days for family members to come climb the wall and use our facilities, this is otherwise a Soldier-focused place – what’s available here is for them.”

    The facility is open to adults at least 18 years of age, which may also make it a prime destination for single Soldiers with approximately 200 guests per day.

    Highlights of the facility include the 20-foot rock wall with safety supports. Fort Bliss FMWR Outdoor Recreation, which is headquartered in the SAC, is there with staff members to assist guests with anything from climb techniques to gear selection for the wall. They also have a wealth of other outdoor gear for rent at cost.

    Another tenant, FMWR Libraries, has a resource center at the SAC with a series of networked computers and peripherals, which is next door to the SAC’s own computer lab and hangout with a good spread of networked gaming computers, consoles and flat screen TVs lining the walls.

    Fedak also welcomes tenant office Leisure Travel Services, another FMWR service, which offers troops and families discounted recreation opportunities and helps manage recreation-focused “unit fund” accounts. LTS also has a desk at Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss’ food court on West Fort Bliss.

    At the SAC, Soldiers traverse the ropes course, music fills the halls from the BOSS office, just as someone walks by with burgers from across the street. The SAC is at Fort Bliss and not at a university campus, but that’s is where the differences seem to end for the most part.

    As the Army moves on from a approximately 7,000 Soldier-recruiting goal shortfall in fiscal year 2018 and looks to increase its active force to 500,000 by 2024, according to a Sept. 21 Stars and Stripes story, Fort Bliss and the SAC designers may have been ahead of their time 13 years ago in knowing that for some Soldiers, reasons to re-enlist can be about more than just about money.

    “We hope this is a good place for Soldiers to get away from the rest of the base, in a positive sense,” Fedak said of offering an escape from Fort Bliss’ large population. “We’re here for them.”

    For more information on the SAC, visit https://bliss.armymwr.com/programs/soldier-activity-center.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.30.2018
    Date Posted: 12.26.2018 21:29
    Story ID: 305207
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 86
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    FMWR Loeza Soldier Activity Center bolsters quality of life for Bliss troops