Saturday, October 22, 2011

Army Sgt. Paul A. Rivera

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Paul A. Rivera, 26, of Round Rock, Texas

Sgt Rivera was assigned to the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Hohenfels, Germany; died Oct. 22, 2011 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an attack by enemy forces.

Sgt Rivera deployed to Afghanistan in April. This was his second deployment. He was due to come home in January.

Sgt Rivera was a 2003 graduate of Stony Point High School. He served as manager of the school's basketball team, where he kept statistics and filmed games. He was also a member of the school's NJROTC.

Stony Point basketball coach Brian Route said, "Paul was the ultimate team player. Whatever we needed him to do he did it. By the time he was a senior, I felt like he was an assistant coach to us because of all the work he did. He was very mature for his age and he was willing to do anything you would ask of him. He was a great friend to people and you could really count on him."

Rivera continued to keep in contact with Route, sending him text messages to learn when Stony Point's basketball team was playing.

"Whatever he decided to do in life he was successful at it," Route said.

Family and friends described Rivera as deeply spiritual, sincere and serene. He was an alter server with his church. He loved playing video games and football.

Best friend, Nick Carmona, said he and Rivera grew up playing Micro Machines and video games.

The attacks of September 11 inspired the two to join the military as soon as they were old enough. Rivera joined the Army, Carmona the Air Force.

“The games we used to play had just become reality," said Carmona, who is a senior airman.

“He was funny, he was charismatic, he was a genuine person, he was kind-hearted,” said Carmona. “He was constantly praying and did everything by the book. He left everything in God’s hands."

The last time Carmona spoke to his best friend was on Facebook, 11 days before Rivera was killed.

“I could tell he wanted to come back home, but the soldier that he was, he didn’t let other people see that,” Carmona said. “It hurts me a lot because I didn’t get to say, ‘I love you,’ to him; I just said, ‘I’ll talk to you later, man.’”
Father, Fred, remembered the day his son announced his intentions.

"My son told my wife, 'You know I'm thinking of joining the Army,' smiling at her. And she said, 'Why don't you just let somebody else do that?'

"His reply was, 'But Mom, if all mothers felt that way, who would be there to defend our country?"

"That was his way of letting us know that he had his heart set," said his father.

Rivera also inspired his brother, Spc. Phillip Rivera, to join the Army.

"My heart goes out to the family because it's just tragedy you know something happened to him," said neighbor Debra Alvarez. "He fought for our country, he's our hero."

Another neighbor, Jesse Padilla, said, "I hope that people when they see the military uniform, I hope they at least acknowledge them, and whenever I see them I say thank you for serving."

Sgt Rivera was laid to rest on November 2, in Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, TX.

Sgt Rivera is survived by parents, Evelyn and Fred; brother Phillip.

Army Sgt. Paul A. Rivera was killed in action on 10/22/11.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rest easy brother