Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day; back tomorrow

Fort Bliss National Cemetery
Credit: Keith J. Andrews
Today is Memorial Day in the United States; it's a national holiday.

Back tomorrow.


  1. I don't think there's a more inaptly named place than Fort Bliss.

    1. Ignoring HE's fact below I am sure by comparison to the deserts and combat areas in the Middle East many soldiers stationed there may not agree and probably do find a rather calm setting. I too having been through that part of Texas/NM many times know it can seem to be only boring dry and brown but the gray mountains against the blue skies during day or starry skies at night can be inspiring.

      Perhaps because not classified as a city but Fort Bliss did not make this Top Ten list:

    2. I guess I wouldn't have thought it the worst place to be stationed (maybe Fort Irwin?), but it didn't seem like the most apt name either (I should have figured it was named for a person). I didn't think the mountains were that close.

      Are there that many military bases in places where people would actively seek to be? I assume not for the most part, but...

    3. Wrong assumption IMO although may depend on the service branch where Army fewer attractive options in general as know bases in places like Hawaii, California (SD, Bay Area), Washington (State of and DC*), Colorado, Florida and a variety of overseas locations I am sure a number of military bases are heavily sought after for assignments. Because of lower pay-scales some of these can be a burden financially where can often depend on family situations where quality and availability of support services or spouse job opportunities define requests where services try to accommodate as much as possible however in the end people do get sent places they might not prefer either because that is where Service says are needed or as part of established career advancement paths. *DC is such a place as career step ladder although lots to do and see with high costs and strange political dynamics to deal with. BTW for context I am a 2nd Gen Army/AF Brat who lived in 7 US locations before going to college, never joined myself but had 2 brothers and a brother-in law plus 4 uncles who all spent time in various Services.

    4. I figured some of those you listed would be nice (I was never in the military nor have family there, and my wife did basic training but no more at Fort Leonard Wood).

      I was assuming that if someplace were desirable for lots of people, it might get sold if they could find another place that would fulfill its purposes, but that might be hard (don't know if new neighbors would want a military base next door, and if cleanup of the old site would be a problem). I imagine lots of places can't be moved without compromising their purposes, so they haven't moved even if they were in desirable spots (San Diego, Pearl Harbor).

    5. Hap in terms of base closures or consolidations that I have seen (So Cal Tustin to Mirimar w/ Top Gun to NV plus others) and read/heard about any suitability for purpose and expressed reasoned preferences of the military often took a back seat to Political Clout of Senators, Representatives or local Government power brokers plus certain potential "land development values" deals that benefited a few. There was plenty of compromising required with transitioning costs seemingly irrelevant and in some cases came with substantial greater price tags that directly consumes operational missions/personnel funding when older on nonexistent facilities had to be upgraded or replaced to provide the equivalent capabilities being lost/moved.

    6. I shouldn't have forgotten about the pork factor.

  2. The fort was named after William Wallace Smith Bliss, not 'state of (bliss).' He was a West Point graduate. That Ft. Bliss is in the middle of a desert, I can understand why many who have passed through the base wondered about its name.