July 13, 2024

Three Black U.S. Army reservists killed in drone attack near Syrian border

3 min read

by NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent Stacy M. Brown

Three Black American reservists from the 926th Engineer Brigade, based at Fort Moore, Georgia, lost their lives in a drone attack on a U.S. base near the Jordan-Syria border. Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh identified the fallen soldiers as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia.

The tragedy occurred at the logistics support base at Tower 22 of the Jordanian Defense Network, where approximately 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel are stationed. That base plays a crucial role in providing support for the coalition’s efforts against ISIS, according to Central Command.

The attack marks the third drone strike on the outpost in the past six months, with the first two occurring in the latter half of the previous year being unsuccessful. Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, said the murders of the three Black reservists cut deeply.

The U.S. government has determined that Iran was responsible for the attack, prompting President Joe Biden to vow a response. “There will be a response,” Biden declared.

In her last conversation with her mother, Sanders reportedly expressed aspirations to elevate her military career upon returning home from the Middle East. She also revealed her intention to purchase a motorcycle. Sanders was actively involved in coaching soccer and basketball in her hometown of Waycross, Georgia, and worked at a pharmacy. She was pursuing college courses to become an X-ray technician.

Sanders’ parents shared that she volunteered for deployment to experience different parts of the world. With a history of military service in the family, Sanders had previously deployed to Djibouti and later volunteered for Kuwait, including a stint in Jordan near the Syrian border.

Rivers enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2011 as an interior electrician, according to the U.S. Army Reserve Command Public Affairs Office.

He served “with courage, honor, and a deep sense of duty, embodying the best of New Jersey and our nation,” said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). “His death is a profound loss to his family, friends, colleagues, and our entire country, and a reminder of the heavy debt we owe to our military families for their sacrifice.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.), who represents Willingboro, said in a statement that Rivers served this country and local community with great honor and bravery. “We are indebted to him and his loved ones for their service and sacrifice,” Kim stated. “We will never forget what Sergeant Rivers and his fellow fallen soldiers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, gave for our nation. May their memory live on in our continued service to our military families.”

Moffett reportedly was no stranger to the military as both of her parents were veterans.

“I was like no you should, but you know she went anyway, because of her dedication to her county, she really really honored her job,” Saryha Truell, one of Moffett’s lifelong friends, told WTOC-TV.

“We are reminded that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Lazaroski, Commanding General of the 412th Theater Engineer Command.

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