story & photo
by Maren Schober
Army Staff Sgt. Edwin Rivera, Waterford, will long be remembered for his love of God, family and country and for the ultimate sacrifice of his life on May 25, while in military service overseas. He was in the National Guard and his death leaves behind his parents, siblings, wife and his two young children. Whether you knew Edwin or not, all of us feel this loss inside ourselves and our hearts go out, especially to his surviving wife and children. Edwin was 28 years old when he fell.
Tributes from our community members pour in.
“I never met him, but I will never forget him. God bless.”
“I can not express my gratitude to your family. He will forever be remembered in our hearts.”
“I did not know Edwin, but I would like to thank him for his bravery in fighting for us!”
David Beaudet, Groton is one of those who did not know Edwin, yet, he felt both grief and appreciation for Edwin’s life of sacrifice. David’s sadness for the remaining family spurred him to action.
“I feel deeply aware of this whole situation,” David shares with me. “I know Edwin’s father and sister Miriam, but most importantly, I too have a wife and two young kids, a three year old and a seven year old. God forbid something ever happens to my wife or myself. If it did, I would hope someone, somewhere, would do something for my family.”
Along with these thoughts, came the idea of how he might help Edwin’s wife and children.
“I talked with my wife Tracey and she agreed with my idea. Tracey turned to her best friend, Corinna Roman, and Corinna spoke to her husband Edgar. Between the four of us, the idea was hatched. We would organize a softball tournament community fundraiser at Washington Park, Groton, in which all monies collected would go to the Childrens Fund for Edwin’s family.”
Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and 22 were the dates of the big event and it was a huge success! About 11 softball teams came together and played all day Saturday and into Sunday, each player and team donated money to the cause. Community businesses also donated their time. All kinds of family activities took place – a live DJ from 107.7 entertained, clothing and jewelry were sold at table displays, food and beverages were available and there was a silent auction and raffle.
“I don’t know how it all came together,” Tracey tells me, “but it all did.”
“There is just one more thing to tell the readers of the Resident newspaper,” David urges. “Tell them that if they see a serviceman or servicewoman in or out of uniform, THANK THEM FOR THEIR SERVICE. You wouldn’t believe the smiles you receive when you do this! Those five little words go so far for all they give up to protect our country.”
If you missed the event, it is not too late to donate to the Childrens Fund. To make a donation or to buy one of the wonderful Edwin Rivera t-shirts, you can email Tracey at email@example.com or phone: 860.448.6188.