LAKE PARK, Fla. -- Five Army Reserve units will have a new home early next summer in Lake Park, Fla. The official ground breaking ceremony was held on May 19 at the new site of a 64,514 square foot facility on 13 acres of land.
The new facility will include 51,800 sq. ft. training building, a 9,373 sq. ft. organizational maintenance shop and a 3,341 sq. ft. storage are on 13 acres of land.
The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. Gill Beck, the commander of the 81st Regional Support Command. "Today we are here to recognize the commitment of Army Reserve Soldiers," said Beck. "Citizen-Soldiers from Florida and what they've done over the past 10 years and their commitment to the future." Beck said that even among severe fiscal pressures, there was an opportunity to continue to serve the nation and develop the leaders necessary to maintain a strong Army for the future. Beck charged the commander of one of the tenant units, Capt. Dexavior Smith of the 623rd Transportation Company, with providing his troops with the opportunity to be, not only good Soldiers, but also good citizens in the Lake Park community. "This is the start of something that will help Florida and our nation." He added.
"This isn't just about we, the Army Reserve, showing up here at your doorstep and digging a hole in the ground and putting in a new Army Reserve center," said Mr. Tad Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the Army Reserve. "It's about partnership and working very closely with the community." He said that the new building would fit in with the architecture of the existing neighborhood and the needs of the community and that the strength of the units would be drawn from that very community.
"For those who, like me, who have not served ," said Mr. James DuBois, mayor of Lake Park, "we know that no amount of time in civil service, elected, appointed, professional or volunteer can replace the experience and value of military service." He spoke of the honor of attending the activation ceremony for the 623rd and when he spoke there had said that "The small towns across the US from Maine to Alaska and Hawai`i, just like this one, are where this country begins as a national community." He said that the smallest communities represent the largest part of the soul of the national identity. "We recognize a commitment to make the world a better place and this starts and continues at both extremes, from the smallest towns where we live and raise our families, to the fundamental principles of the Bill of Rights. We prevail, we survive together under the same flag, we serve the same purpose." He finished with the hope that the Soldiers that would be in the new center would be as proud of the people of Lake Park as they are of the troops.
"As we all know the world's most valuable asset is the people," said Capt. Smith. "It's the people that drive organizations, who drive communities and companies. This new Reserve center will be a link between the town of Lake Park and people from around the world that represent the U.S. Army." Smith said that he hopes the Soldiers of the five new units will uplift the people of Lake Park to new success, including economic prowess.
The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of an artist's rendering of the new center and the tossing of the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt as together the officials in attendance broke ground on the new center that is expected to be completed by the summer of 2013.