WATERFORD, CT, US
U. S. Army
SSG, CO A, 1ST BN, 102ND INF REGT, NORWALK, CT
05/25/2010, BETHESDA, UNITED STATES
Staff Sergeant Rivera possessed a passion for his family and helping people, especially his soldiers. He always made it known that he considered his friends as family. His infectious attitude, sense of humor, and bright smile could easily light up a room. He was always trying to make people laugh. Everything that SSG Rivera did, he did with pride and lots of love. He was extremely compassionate and easily empathized with people.
“(SSG Rivera) would go out of his way to greet you and ask how you were doing,” Ed Discola posted on an online memorial site. “It was impossible to have a conversation with him and not come out of it smiling.”
This was a man who exemplified kindness, who practiced the generosity of the human spirit and set an outstanding example for people in the way he conducted his daily life.
The following is from a blog by Rinker Buck
“Last summer, six months before he was deployed to Afghanistan for the second time, Staff Sergeant Rivera sat in his car in the driveway of his parents’ house in Waterford and explained to his mother why he was returning to war.
It was the sad faces of the children that he had seen in Afghanistan during his first tour there in 2006, he told his mother, faces that still reminded him of why American soldiers were there.
“When the U.S. soldiers drive by,” Rivera told his mother Gladys that night, “the children will scramble like mad in the dust just to get thrown a simple pencil from us. They don’t even have pencils. I was born for this, it’s my duty, to protect those families over there.”
“(On this Memorial Day)I ask that every Connecticut citizen keep Staff Sergeant Edwin Rivera, the Rivera family and their friends in their thoughts and prayers,” Governor M. Jodi Rell said. “… I ask that all residents reflect on the freedoms they enjoy, remember the debt of honor we owe to those who have paid for those freedoms with their lives, and keep every member of our Armed Forces close to their hearts as well.”