EL PASO , TX – The City of El Paso, home of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, was chosen as one of five communities nationwide as Great American Defense Communities 2023.
In partnership with the Endeavors, the City of El Paso highlighted the work being done to provide a high quality of life for veterans in the community. The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) announced the five regions selected along with USAA, the program’s official sponsor, at the National Summit held this month.
The Great American Defense 2023 winners were El Paso, Texas; Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska; Fort George G. Meade Region, Maryland; Montgomery-River Region, Alabama; and Greater Omaha, Nebraska.
“It is an honor that the City of El Paso has been recognized as a Great American Defense Community 2023. The City and Fort Bliss have grown together through daily interaction since the establishment of the fort in 1854,” stated City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.
The Administrator added that the City of El Paso and Fort Bliss maintain a very important bond, “As evidenced by the fact that over 57% of the military personnel stationed at Fort Bliss live in the El Paso community with their families. They shop in our stores, play in our parks, benefit from our services and their children attend our schools. They are citizens of El Paso,” he said.
Gonzalez explained that in El Paso there are more than 50,000 veterans residing in the border city, and assured that the City Council will continue to support military and veterans with safe neighborhoods, employment, education, economic opportunities and a high quality of life.
Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on integration, support and collaboration with facilities and community building efforts, such as educational and employment opportunities. This year, the Great American Defense Communities program had a special focus on innovation, workforce development, education, entrepreneurship and support for military youth.
The city has focused its efforts on increasing its support for the military and veteran community by developing various initiatives such as the creation of a website to provide information on resources for veterans and their families; the installation of a veterans affairs advisory committee; or the implementation of the Sun City Bliss program, to promote services to veterans, active military and their families.
In addition, the annual veterans’ luncheon, the employment incentive and The Bridge scholarship were also highlighted.
In partnership with the City of El Paso, Endeavors, a non-profit organization, established a multitude of services to address the needs of the military and veteran community.
Endeavors’ mission is to provide comprehensive, effective and innovative services that foster growth and empower individuals to build lives for themselves, their families and their communities. Since 2017, Endeavors served more than 2,900 Service Members, Veterans, National Guardsmen, Reservists and their families in El Paso.