Fort Bliss soldiers, spouses, and civilians attended the annual Fiesta Celebration & Piñata Bash hosted by the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center, Nov. 12.
The Bash attendees include companies, individuals, city partners and key officials. This event focused on heroes, and the success of businesses in El Paso, military and their families, and the EPHCOC.
Janet Aguilar, Board of Directors of the EPHCOC, introduced Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, Fort Bliss Commanding General, as the guest speaker and presented him with the Milagro Cross.
“It took me 12 years to get this cross,” said Aguilar. “It’s an honor to welcome you back to El Paso and present the cross to you.”
Pittard thanked Aguilar and the audience for their continued support to the Soldiers here and those still in battle.
Pittard reminded the audience that Fort Bliss and El Paso have had some challenges in the past but always met the challenges together as partners in collaboration.
Pittard mentioned renewable energy as a challenge.
“El Paso is the Sun City and were proud of that,” said Pittard. “The dream of the mayor and so many of us is for El Paso to be the center of the renewable energy industry.”
Pittard’s plans include having Fort Bliss produce more energy than is consumed by 2015. That will be done with the collaboration of Fort Bliss and the El Paso region.
Pittard briefed on six lessons learned throughout the years:
• Taking care of people – By taking care of others, they will take care of you.
“Our number one priority at Fort Bliss is taking care of our Soldiers and their families, and to ensure the Soldiers are prepared for combat,” said Pittard. “Taking care of Soldiers, families, and civilians at Bliss, we know they will take care of us overall. “
• The golden rule - Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.
“At Fort Bliss when it comes to contracts or businesses, we will be above board and fair,” said Pittard. “We will make sure El Paso is as recession proof as possible, but we’re going to be fair.”
• Dealing with bad news or problems – If there is a problem, find a solution for the challenges.
“Some avoid problems, but we believe in dealing with problems,” said Pittard. “You can’t control what happens at times but we believe you can control your own reaction.”
• Listening - Listen to your coworkers, Soldiers, families and the local communities.
“We at Fort Bliss believe we must listen,” said Pittard.
• Never underestimate your opponent – Prepare ahead, don’t give way to be defeated in your goal.
“Do not underestimate your opponent,” said Pittard after reflecting on a student body district president competition during his senior year at Eastwood Highschool.
• Collaboration – Work together
“That’s what we want to do with El Paso,” said Pittard.
From lessons to prizes, Fort Bliss impacted the Fiesta.
The grand prize of $10,000 was won by a guest of the Family Readiness Group, Angela Lawler.
Lawler, an Information Referral & Outreach Program Assistant at Army Community Services on Fort Bliss and a military spouse for six years, is a member of the 11th Brigade FRG.
“I’m really surprised that I won”, said Lawler. “Out of everyone they picked that one ticket and I just happened to have it. I truly feel honored to win and I’m thankful I was able to hear the general speak about the Renewable Energy plan for 2015.”
Closing the evening, Los Lonely Boys played for the guests and gave a shout out to the military.