US Army Supports $100 Million Great Wolf Lodge Swindle

A civilian representative of the United States Army threatened to close Fort Bliss if the $100+ million swindle that will bring a Great Wolf Lodge to El Paso is not approved.

Tom Thomas, the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for West Texas, said, at the El Paso City Council meeting on October 30, (at approximately one hour and fifty-eight minutes into the video of the meeting) that if the Great Wolf Lodge were to come to El Paso, and there were another round of Base Realignment and Closures, “Fort Bliss would be a gainer, and never be closed.”

Eric Fanning is the current Secretary of the Army.

Mr. Thomas saying the Army won’t close Fort Bliss if the City approves the Great Wolf Lodge is like me telling my six-year-old son that he won’t get a spanking if he stops tormenting his little brother.

Mr. Thomas is tight with the local swindle facilitators whose stage name is the El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

Let me point out that Fort Bliss is the largest Army base on our nation’s border. The military likes army bases on our nation’s borders, because, you know, invasions start at the border. Territorial borders define nations, and military installations defend borders. Hence, military installations on the border.

The post that would become Fort Bliss was established in 1849 specifically to protect the border established by the Mexican American War of 1846-48.

The United States might close Fort Bliss if Mexico becomes the 51st state. Unless (until) that happens, I think the base is pretty safe.

But now Tom Thomas, the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for West Texas, is threatening to close Fort Bliss if the Great Wolf Lodge Swindle is not approved.

I wonder if he exceeded his mandate.


  1. I think he’s talking through his a**. He has no authority to make such a statement. Might be a fun idea to find out the public address of Secretary of Defense Mattis and send him a message about it. Great Wolf Lodge has no impact on Fort Bliss, just as no other hotel does. Thomas should be censured and/or relieved of his duties for making such a statement.

  2. If that guy is anywhere near correct in his assessment that somehow the water park hotel would be of benefit to the Army, then I have to conclude that the Army has indeed changed a whole helluva lot since I was stationed at Ft. Bliss, back in the late 60’s. I just cannot visualize any grunt having the money to afford such a hotel, nor do I believe the government per diem could ever come close to affording such a place, even for high ranking officers.

  3. Let the Army pay for it out of the bloated Defense budget..meantime, the idea that El Paso has to cough up huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to make Ft. Bliss happy is ridiculous, if not crossing a red line. What does Ft. Bliss do for El Paso? Seriously?

    1. First off, the military budget isn’t bloated. In 2015, it took up 54% of discretionary spending. That same year, it took up 16% of the total budget. Healthcare (Medicare, etc.) and Social Security (both not mandated in the Constitution) made up 40% of the total budget. Fort Bliss, directly or indirectly, contributes more than 24 billion dollars to the Texas economy, a lot of that here. As I said above, this man does NOT speak for the Department of Defense, I assume someone convinced him to say that.

      1. Gee. with all that a Great Wolf Lodge is hardly a boost for El Paso… Surprised that they don’t just build it on Fort Bliss out of that non-bloated defense budget. The curious element of this is that only those staying in the hotel can use the facilities…so will Fort Bliss folks be heading over the mountain to pay for a night at the hotel, or will they be comped?

        The given employment figure of 135,610, which is a huge chunk of the El Paso population, certainly suggests that the projected employment of 384 at Great Wolf is not exactly a big deal…especially as most of them will be making beds, handing out towels, or clearing tables…

        So who do you think convinced him to say that?

  4. I am appalled by the comments made by this unelected person who has no authority whatsoever as to base closure and realignment. I think it’s a safe bet that he far outpaced his position with his statements and wouldn’t have been so brazen if this was a national story. SecDef should be made aware of his representatives ridiculous comments but even more important is the truth behind his statement. Much as I hate the current environment I can’t help but wonder if there shouldn’t be some sort of investigation into the relationships and money trail that would lead him to get involved at all. El Paso has a responsibility to foster the relationship between the citizens and the military installation and so does the military have a similar responsibilty but this goes way over the line.

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