New Moon Township Express Brings Convenience To Military Families

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service ushered in a new era of service and support for military families near Western Pennsylvania as the ribbon was cut on a state-of-art Express store Tuesday, marking the end of years of work to bring an updated facility to the area.

“This day has been a long time coming, and it’s a thrill to finally make it official,” Exchange Eastern Region Vice President Ronny Rexrode told the crowd of service members, veterans and their families who gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Express and next-door commissary.

The ribbon-cutting marked the final phase in a years-long process to open a new Express and commissary after the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure recommendation to close the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility in nearby Oakdale. The Exchange’s Kelly facility remained open until the Moon Township store “soft” opened in August

The Oct. 21 grand opening officially kicked off an updated shopping experience for military families. Pennsylvania lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and State Sen. Matt Smith were on hand for the event, thanking all those who worked to make the new store a reality.

The 10,741-square-foot Express houses Military Clothing, an outdoor living section and electronics with name brands such as Samsung, Sony and Beats. A barber shop and Class Six facility with a walk-in cooler round out the $4.3 million facility, which supports 168,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Reservists, Guardsmen, military retirees and their families in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. John Brice and his wife, Bonnie, said they drive 70 miles from their Bellaire, Ohio, home to shop each week. They attended the grand-opening celebration, and Brice took a seat in the barber shop and let the barber work his magic.

“I get my hair cut at the Exchange all the time,” Brice said. “I appreciate the support the Exchange gives to our military and our military families.”

Brice and his wife said they enjoyed the store’s fresh look and planned to continue their weekly trek to stock up on supplies for their garden.

For Tech Sgt. Nicole Bochter with the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania National Guard, shopping at the Express means saving money on items for her young family.

“I’m a frequent shopper, and we’ve waited for years for a store like this,” Bochter said while browsing Beats Pill speakers for her mother-in-law’s birthday. “You can’t beat the tax-free savings, especially on electronics. Our community is better off for having this facility.”

Lt. Col. Stephanie Wellhouse of the 911th Airlift Wing said she welcomed the convenience.

“I’m so happy to have this store so close,” Wellhouse said, especially so she could shop for military clothing. Before the store opened, she would drive several hours to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to purchase items for her uniform. “Instead of going to Wright-Patterson, I can come here on my lunch break. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad we have such a nice facility right in our own backyard.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.