Fallen Soldier: Edwin A. Rivera
Hometown: Waterford, Connecticut
Branch of Service: Army National Guard
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Player: David Nyfjäll
Army National Guard SSG Edwin A. Rivera, 28, of Waterford, Conn. was assigned to 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment, Connecticut National Guard, Norwalk, Conn. He died May 25, 2010 at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds sustained during an attack five days earlier in Afghanistan’s Laghman province when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using indirect fire at Contingency Outpost Xio Haq.
SSG Rivera graduated from the U.S. Army's Airborne and Mountain Warfare schools and the Warrior Leader's Course. He trained Afghan security forces, police, and border patrol agents. It was his second deployment to Afghanistan.
When Edwin Rivera broke the news to his family that he was returning to Afghanistan for a second tour with the Connecticut National Guard, he said had one reason: the Afghan children. “When the U.S. soldiers drive by,” Rivera told his mother Gladys, “the children will scramble like mad in the dust just to get a pencil. They had nothing.”
When home in Waterford, Conn., Rivera worked the evening shift as a security guard at a nuclear power plant. While his wife worked days in a dental office, Rivera cared for their sons.
Rivera was a 2000 Waterford High School graduate. Friends remember him as a cheerful, giving person. They said he would go out of his way to greet you and ask how you were doing.
He is survived by his wife, Yesenia, and sons Rolando and Lorenzo.