HARTFORD, Conn., – Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard confirmed today, with much regret and sorrow, that a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment of Norwalk died late Tuesday night at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.
Staff Sgt. Edwin Rivera, 28, of Waterford, Conn., died as a result of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire on May 20 in Laghman Province, Afghanistan.
“The loss of Staff Sgt. Rivera, so close to the traditional Memorial Day weekend serves as a painful reminder to all of us, of the sacrifices young American heroes and their families are called upon to make on our behalf. For what Staff Sgt. Rivera has done in service to his state and nation makes him well deserving of the term hero,” said Martin.
The 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 102nd Infantry, as part of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) Mountain (MTN), is partnered with Afghan security forces to assist, train and mentor the Afghan Army, Police and Border Police forces in order to strengthen, stabilize and legitimize the Government of Afghanistan.
The 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry was alerted in January 2008, mobilized in November 2009 and departed Connecticut on November 21, 2009 for Camp Atterbury, Ind. for further training and validation. The Battalion left for Afghanistan in January 2010.
Currently, the Connecticut National Guard has 900 Soldiers and Airmen deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry is scheduled to return home in the fall 2010.