EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It’s Memorial Day and civilians across the borderland can honor our service members by being part of the Fort Bliss community but with one exception.

Installation Physical Security Officer Tom Cain of Fort Bliss says six weeks ago the pass was obtained to allow easy access for civilians to come and enjoy what Fort Bliss has to offer. 

The recreational pass allows civilians to shop and dine on post, as long as the facility does not require the individual to have a Military I.D..   

“Just go to one of our VCC. Either at Buffalo Soldier or Chaffee, There’s a visitor control center, go and let them know you’re here for a recreational pass. Now what you have to have with you is present ia a real ID, driver license or state ID card. And the easiest way to identify that, is that there’s always a gold star somewhere on the ID card,” Cain said.

Freedom’s Crossing offers various options for civilians such as Under Armor, The Grand Theater, Jumbo Park, the food court: which has a Smoothie King which is hard to find on the eastside of El Paso. Plus public parks, and the museum.

“Now there are still going to be some restrictions on some places that they will not go because of some regulations or laws that prohibit such as the commissary, the PX and places like that,” Cain said. 

According to Cain, individuals applying for the recreational pass will go through a background check. Now, the question is, what disqualifies an individual to get a recreational pass. 

“Can not have a felony convictions or can not be on the national sex offender registry, also we have seven misdemeanors, that we also focus on. One is no drug conviction in the last three years, no convictions of contributing to delinquency of a minor or domestic violence. We also have four additional misdemeanors we will honor. With only one conviction,” Cain said.

And that includes, assault, battery, criminal trespassing, theft and a DUI or a DWI. 

Cain says civilians can go to the commissary and the Post Exchange. However, they can not shop there unless obtaining a Military I.D..

As for some buildings such as gymnasiums, Army unit buildings, clothing and sales, those are off limits for civilians

The recreational pass is good for 12 months and the following locations you can get a pass are at the Visitor Center in Buffalo Soldier Gate open 24 hours or Chaffee Gate open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

You can use the recreational pass at Buffalo Soldier Gate, Cassidy Gate and Master Sergeant  Peña Gate, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week as long as you have the recreational pass with you. 

For more information about Fort Bliss Recreational Pass click here

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