One well kept secret at Fort Bliss provides deals on furniture
Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman,
24th Press Camp Headquarters:
The Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Property Book Office’s garage sale may be one of Fort Bliss’ best kept secrets.
The PBO office holds sales from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday to the public.
The PBO office is accountable for all of MWR’s properties, including offices, gyms, the bowling alley and the golf course, to name a few.
When items such as desks, chairs, refrigerators and couches are replaced with new ones, the old items go to Bldg. 643 for storage until someone buys the item and gives it a new home.
The staff of PBO consists of four people, who express a desire to help Soldiers, retirees and anyone who walks into their office. Javier Matamoros has been a supply clerk at the PBO since 2008 and he loves his job, especially Fridays when he gets the opportunity to get out from his desk and help someone who truly needs his assistance.
Matamoros recalls helping out a Soldier who moved into a house without having any furniture. He put together an ensemble of furniture which included chairs, a table, television stand and twin bed.
As an added problem, the Soldier did not have a way to transport the furniture to her house. Matamoros organized the delivery of the furniture with a maintenance crew who were there dropping off items at the PBO. The maintenance crew happened to work at a nearby school only a few blocks away from her house. He remembers how grateful the Soldier was for his help.
“I have fun when I get the opportunity to help someone out; that is why I love my job,” said Matamoros. “I think that is why we have so many people come back here.”
Fred Ozyp, the supply tech supervisor, who has been there for more than three years, remembers a similar story when he and his staff helped a Soldier.
The Soldier and his family had been using an ice chest to keep their food cold because their refrigerator broke and the family did not have money for a new one. The Soldier would not be paid for a couple of weeks, but Ozyp found a way to provide him a refrigerator that day.
“When I can help a Soldier and their family when they are in dire need, it makes my day; it makes the job fun,” said Ozyp. “It is a win-win situation.”
“We get a lot of retirees that come and buy furniture, so I get to help them load it up, tie it down and send them on their way,” said Bill Easley, a material handler.
Not all of the sales are furniture or old refrigerators; sometimes antiques can be found too. Both Matamoros and Ozyp remember when they sold an old jukebox from the closed-down Noncommissioned Officer’s club. When the buyer cleaned up the jukebox, he found $8 dollars in quarters in the machine.
Amanda Stone, the supply clerk responsible for the appropriated fund site for MWR, helps whenever she gets a chance by putting on a back brace and grabbing a dolly.
“Everyone here works really well together,” said Stone. “I love working here because of the people I work with.”
The PBO, 643 Taylor Road at the intersection of Pleasonton Road, is difficult to find but worth the effort if you are hunting for household items at a reasonable price. To learn more, call 568-3779 or 568-4501.
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