News: New Army Reserve facility named for fallen soldier
Story by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
FORKS TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command hosted a ceremony Dec. 17 at the new Army Reserve Center here to officially open and memorialize the $12.9 million training facility.
The center was named in honor of Sgt. Ashly Lynn Moyer, an Army Reserve soldier who was killed in 2007 by an improvised explosive device while serving on active duty in Iraq.
“We talk about Army Reservists being twice the citizen; Sgt. Moyer was, in many ways, twice the soldier – she was an Army Reserve soldier and an active-component soldier.” said Maj. Gen. William D. Razz Waff, commanding general of the 99th RSC. “In her service, she was asked to pay the ultimate price, and for that we grieve her loss and honor her memory.”
Joining Waff as members of the ceremony’s official party were Carol Obando-Derstine, regional manager of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties for U.S. Senator Robert Casey, Marta Gabriel, regional manager of Lehigh Valley for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, retired 1st Sgt. Bruce Sweeney, former first sergeant of the 630th Military Police Company, and Samantha Chovanes, Moyer’s cousin.
“Ashly joined the Army Reserve at a crucial time in her life,” said Chovanes. “The Army gave her purpose, it gave her family, and it enabled her to visualize her true potential.”
“If you have loved ones, you really want to make sure you hold them tight,” said Moyer’s youngest brother, Kyle. “You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone.”
Moyer enlisted in the Army in September 2003, attending Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training in 2004. Upon completion of training, she was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 367th Military Police Company in Horsham, Pa. While assigned to the 367th MP Company, she deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and performed duties in Detainee Operations.
Moyer requested a conditional release to join the active-duty Army and was ordered to the 630th Military Police Company in Bamberg, Germany. Her unit was ordered to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On March 3, 2007, Moyer was killed in action by hostile fire when her High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle was destroyed by an enemy improvised explosive device.
“I know Sgt. Moyer would be proud of this building dedication,” said Sweeney, who served with Moyer in Germany and Iraq. “We all know we cannot restore the loss we have experienced, as we no longer have Ashly with us; but every time we walk through these halls, a small piece of her memory will be returned to us.”
The new Army Reserve Center that bears Moyer’s name sits on a 9-acre site that features a 40,000-square-foot training facility, 5,100-squre-foot organizational maintenance shop and 1,400-square-foot unheated storage building.
“This building stands as a testament to the leadership qualities and commitment to the mission that Sgt. Moyer evoked,” said Obando-Derstine. “It is a small gesture, but her legacy to the community and the successive generations of Soldiers will never be forgotten.”
“It is my hope that this beautiful building will help us remember and reflect on the great sacrifices and contributions that Ashly has made on behalf of our country,” said Gabriel.
The center was built by Arrow Kinsley Joint Venture and will be home to approximately 200 Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 744th Military Police Battalion and 130th Chemical Company, replacing the Wilson-Kramer Army Reserve Center in nearby Bethlehem, Pa.