FORT BLISS, Texas - For those Soldiers and families on Fort Bliss wanting to get their hands dirty while receiving professional assistance, the automotive skills center here has a "do-it-yourself" Auto Hobby Shop that provides them an opportunity to minimize possible financial strains.
Do-it-yourselfer Donald Ellis, who has been coming to the Fort Bliss Auto Hobby Shop since 1991, said the Auto Hobby Shop is geared toward the mechanically inclined and challenged alike.
"Do-it-yourselfers are here to share knowledge and empower one another to be a more informed car owner," said Ellis, an Army veteran. "Car owners should not only be aware of the services available to them, but want to learn how to perform preventative maintenance on their vehicle."
For Sgt. Joshua Doster, assigned 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, the automotive skill center is a "game changer."
"As a single Soldier, bills and the little things begin to add up," said Doster, a Phenix City, Ala., native. "Having access to this facility and equipment makes something like maintenance and unexpected auto repairs easier to deal with."
Along with being a Texas State Inspection validation center, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation-operated, 29-bay facility has a third area of operation: a full-service Auto Crafts Shop where customers can have their vehicle serviced and repaired by Automotive Service Excellence-certified mechanics.
"We are here to help Soldiers and their dependents," said Facility Manager Rudy Moreno. "We want to show them that we have their best interest in mind, giving them peace of mind in the services they receive."
According to Moreno, the Fort Bliss Automotive Skills Center is one of the last full-service, do-it-your facilities on a U.S. Army installation with ASE-certified mechanics, giving the community more incentive to utilize the services offered.
Twenty-five-year ASE-certified mechanic and Marine Corps veteran Jaime Garcia said he knows the value of good service and taking care of Soldiers and their families.
"Knowing that we are providing them with competitive prices, genuine experience and service feels good," said Garcia.
"You're going to get honest, trustful service," Moreno added. "If you want to leave happy from an automotive shop, you should come here."
From oil changes and tune-ups to alignments and complete brake jobs, the shop gives customers a convenient and affordable way to have their automotive needs met.
For more information on the Fort Bliss Automotive Skills Center hours of operation and additional services, visit blissmwr.com/autocrafts or call 568-7280.