Hi everyone! I was born and raised in El Paso, and even though it's "home" to me, I would also never go back. Part of me really does LOVE it, the people there are sooo nice and if you're into backyard parties and clubbin, then it's great. It's "home" for me so I always find myself going to visit, but in terms of making a life out there, I would never want to do that. The reason being is for the same given above....people there really do get "stuck". The city is growing like wildfire, but rather than bringing in acutal big businesses, and attractions, they bring in restaruants, malls, and jobs that leave little room for advancement. Kids (by kids I mean teens) have very little to do there but party and go clubbin' sometimes even in Mexico. Just trouble. I left in '98 when I graduated from high school in the Northeast side (ohh...the northeast side....the ghetto
). While I visit frequently, I cannot see myself there. My family that is still there says they're trying to bring in more businesses and hospitals, but it's all talk so far. I can't speak for the medical field there, other than there is a HUGE shortage of nurses there, and as my friends tell me, they get paid pretty good there. I grew up going to the military hospital there, and the nurses (even some civilian) liked the pay, just not the fact that there's not much to do in EP.
Schools there aren't THAT bad, they're MUCH worse in California, but that's due in part to the Texas education system as a whole. Living in San Antonio now, I do see that the schools in EP aren't as great as in other parts of the country, as a state, the schools are good....I've seen worse. Everyone says to live in the West side, but you really just have to research for yourself different parts of the city. Like I said, the NE side is known as the ghetto, where you go get stabbed, but I grew up there and it's all more bad reputation than fact. The NE side has some really nice neighborhoods which also includes military housing. The Sgt. Major's academy is there, and it's where they house them in a nice area called North Hills. People there are nice and not as "scary" as some parts of EP have a reputation of having. The housing market is hot there right now though!
Being military there is differnent than being there as a civilian. Saguario13, I'm pretty sure you can find a very well paying job at WBAMC, the Army hospital there. Being an Army wife myself, growing up as an Army brat in EP, I really think that with your DH in the service and you working as a nurse in EP, you all will be financially well off. The cost of living for what people make there may be a bit high, but with those 2 occupations, you'll be ok. Ft. Bliss is the 2nd (or 3rd..I forget) biggest Army base in the US, so military facilities and the attitude of the people there about the military are very favorable. If the Army is sending you there, I wouldn't completely rule it out.....especially if you're likely to be transfered somewhere else later. LOL...just don't get stuck living there forever!
As a civilian, unless you're also planning on leaving at some point, I just can't see it being something I would do. People really DO get "stuck" and are ok with it, but it hurts those that want to advance. Depending on the side of town you're on and what your income is, you may be just fine!
Speaking spanish is a plus, if you love to go out to eat, then you'll be set, but if you like to go out and enjoy things and DO things....you'll find yourself bored quickly.
As for Las Cruces....I have a good friend there that says that's where they big bucks are! Areas there have multi-million dollar houses and the workforce is small, but strong. Again, I don't know about how the nursing field is out there, but I'll try to find out for you.
I hope I answered some questions too....feel free to ask!