Celebration of life service held for Carrollton reservist killed in drone attack

CARROLLTON, Ga. — Family, friends and the Carrollton community paid their respects on Tuesday to one of the three Georgia reservists killed in the line of duty in Jordan.

Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, was killed along with Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah in the January attack. All three were stationed at Fort Moore.

On Tuesday, Rivers’ family held a celebration of life in Carrollton at 10 a.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church before laying him to rest in a private ceremony at Georgia National Cemetery.

“SSG William Rivers will forever be remembered as a true American hero, a loving husband, a devoted father, and a selfless individual who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” his obituary reads.

Community members showed their support in a procession on the Hwy. 166 bypass and Bankhead Highway, as Rivers was brought to his burial site.

Channel 2′s Candace McCowan spoke with Rivers’ widow after his death. She said her husband was passionate about his work with the Army.

“He was away, and he just promised that he would be home safe. And unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” she told McCowan.

When Rivers was deployed in August, his family trusted that he would return home like he had so many other times after deployments.

“They came to the door and told me that he had passed away in Jordan, which I didn’t know he was in Jordan because, I guess, that was classified information,” Rivers’ wife said. The heartbroken wife said her husband of almost 11 years and father of their teenage son was always there for them, even when he was overseas.

“Always smiling, always happy, always worried about his family, always took care of his family, a very hard worker for his family,” the wife said.

According to his obituary, Rivers’ awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device and Bronze hourglass, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, two Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and a Combat Badge.





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