El Pasoans love our military. Being a solid democrat town you would think there would be an anti-military attitude but it is quite the opposite. Other than the local rags making a big deal every time a soldier gets ticketed for j-walking, the people of El Paso respect our soldiers and realize that Ft. Bliss provides us not only with physical protection but with financial protection as well. Ft. Bliss has been expanding like crazy and the influx of stable jobs and stable families has been a boon for the town.
I noticed the same thing. I lived off post in a long term hotel but everywhere I went, including church on Sunday, folks were very friendly and welcoming. I was disappointed the alligators were gone in the park downtown. Having some bronze alligators in some moment of bliss is not the same as real alligators I recall when visiting as a young child in the 1950s.