State of New York | Executive Chamber
David A. Paterson | Governor
For Immediate Release: October 20, 2009
Contact: Marissa Shorenstein | firstname.lastname@example.org | 518.474.8418 | 212.681.4640
Division of Military and Naval Affairs Contact: Eric Durr | email@example.com | 518.786.4581
GOVERNOR PATERSON DIRECTS FLAGS TO BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF
Governor David A. Paterson has directed that the flags at New York State government buildings be flown at half-staff on Thursday, October 22, in honor of a Rochester native who was killed in Mosul, Iraq, on October 18.
Army Private First Class Daniel J. Rivera was killed in a motor vehicle accident. He was a member of the 3rd battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division which is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences and sympathy to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of PFC Rivera," Governor Paterson said. "We mourn his death but will celebrate his service to our nation."
Governor Paterson has directed the flags on all State buildings to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the State's service members who are killed in action or die in a combat theater.
Additional news available at www.ny.gov/governor/press
High resolution images available at www.ny.gov/governor/mediaimages | password: paterson
New York State | Executive Chamber | firstname.lastname@example.org | 212.681.4640 | 518.474.8418Myrian Rivera is Daniel Rivera's mother and she tells WIVB (link has text and video), "This war has to end . . . because they're little, they're kids. He's 22, he's a kid. They're kids dying." Victoria E. Freile and Claudia Vargas (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) add, "Rivera is the middle child of Myrian Rivera's three children. He attended Canandaigua Academy for a few years and then transferred and graduated from Victor High School in 2005. After high school, Rivera worked several jobs with Walker and other cousins for a couple of years but then decided to join the military and follow the tradition in his family. Many of his relatives serve in various branches of the military." Daniel Rivera died serving in Iraq and it's really pathetic that WHAM's anchor couldn't get it right -- repeating at the top of the report that he died serving in Afghanistan (while "KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN" is splashed across the screen above Rivera's photo) and repeating it at the end. You can find the link for that video in Patrice Walsh's report and she gets the details correct in her text report. They can leave Walsh's report up but they need to remove that video from the web because it's not only making them look foolish, to continue to post it is disrespectful.
That was Monday's announced death. Yesterday the US military announced: "CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq - A Multi-National Division - North Soldier was killed and two were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle in Ninawa province, Iraq, Oct. 19. The name of the deceased is being withhled pending notifcation of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website [. . .]. The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary kin." Ana Ley (Monitor via Brownsville Hearld) reports that soldier is Bradley Espinoza. Daniel Rivera was supposed to be home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family and Ley reports that Bradly Espinoza was due home in December. His survivors include his wife (also serving in the US military) and their two children as well as his mother Maggie Espinoza whose friend Rebecca Cantu speaks with Ley:
Cantu said her friend wept uncontrollably throughout the day as she mourned the death of her son, whom she had last spoken to a few days ago. The bereaved mother got sick upon hearing the news from the government employees who came to her doorstep. Maggie Espinoza initially thought the women were lost in her neighborhood, her friend added.
"She’s devastated," Cantu said. "She’s calm, then she cries."
Bradley Espinoza's 3-year-old son still seems confused about his father's death, Cantu said. The child had been staying with his grandmother in Alton while his parents were away on duty.
"The little boy doesn’t comprehend," Cantu said. "At first, he was just happy a lot of kids were there. Then he saw his grandma cry, and he was like, ‘What’s wrong?’"
Victor Castillo (KGBT) reports that Bradley Espinoza was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. Lynn Brezosky (San Antonio Express-News) reports on the death here. Lisa Cortez (KRGV) reports that his daughter is six-years-old.
The announcements of Daniel Rivera and Bradley Espinoza's deaths brought the number of US service members killed in the Iraq War to 4351.
24-year-old Jonathan David Clark died after serving in Iraq. Robert Lee Long (Desota Times Tribune) reports the Iraq War veteran "died of a massive heart attack" and a memorial service for him is scheduled for this morning at Eduora's First Baptist Church, "Survivors include his parents, Bob and Catherine Faye Clark of Walls; a brother, Benji Clark, Walls; sister Rachel Clark, Walls; and nieces Makayla Clark and Savannah Clark."
Meanwhile Lauren DeFranco (WABC -- link has text and video) reports Christal Wagenhauser gave birth to a two month premature daughter and she and the family want Cpl Kieth Wagenhouser -- currently stationed in Iraq -- home to see the baby: "If the baby's condition deteriorates, it would take Wagenhauser a week to get home. At that point, it would be too late."
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