Waterford - Staff Sergeant Edwin Rivera, 28, beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and soldier, passed May 25, 2010, from wounds sustained in combat. With an adventurous spirit and a zest for life, SSG Rivera joined the Connecticut Army National Guard in 2002, initially as a chemical weapons specialist eventually transferring and becoming a combat infantryman. SSG Rivera was proudly serving with Apache Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) located in Norwalk, during his second deployment to Afghanistan. SSG Rivera's professional achievements include graduating from the U.S. Army's Airborne and Mountain Warfare schools along with the Warrior Leader's Course. SSG 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. In fact, he was always trying to make people laugh because he was just naturally funny.
Everything that SSG Rivera did, he did with pride and lots of love. He was extremely compassionate and easily empathized with people. He loved hard and loved deeply, always wearing his heart on his sleeve.
SSG Rivera was born May 10, 1982 in New London, the son of Ceferino and Gladys Rivera. He was a graduate of Waterford High School and was employed by Securitas Security Services at Millstone Power Station.
In addition to his parents, SSG Rivera is survived by his wife, Yesenia; sons, Rolando and Lorenzo; two sisters, Naomi and Miriam Rivera; and nephews, Marquis Rivera and Elias Jovani Dervos.
He was predeceased by his son, Edwin Rivera Jr.; two nieces, Maya and Mikayla Sousa; and his grandmothers, Patria Rodriguez and Anna Vargas.
While he will be greatly missed, we are consoled in the fact that he leaves behind two bright lights in his wonderful sons, Rolando and Lorenzo, ages 11 and 4.
A fund has been established for the children of SSG Edwin Rivera. Donations may be made to "SSG Edwin Rivera Children's Fund" and may be mailed to: Chelsea Groton Bank, SSG Edwin Rivera Children's Fund, c/o Anne L. Ogden, 157 Boston Post Road, Waterford CT 06385.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 4, at Nett Hall, Camp Rell, Niantic. SSG Rivera's funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, at Nett Hall, Camp Rell, Niantic. Burial with full military honors will follow in Jordan Cemetery, Boston Post Road, Waterford.
The Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic, is assisting the family with the arrangements.
To view SSG Rivera's online video tribute or to send the family an online guest book, please visit www.neilanfuneralhome.com
Published in The Day on June 2, 2010