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Published on Aug 16, 2009
Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera, 21 of Homestead, Fla, Marines died Aug. 6 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. Guzman Rivera was assigned to the 3rd Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.
When Velma Torres saw the Marines at her house Thursday afternoon, she already knew what the news would be. They said, we need to talk we could go inside. I said, you bring me bad news? And they say yes, . It was news her 21-year-old son Christian Guzman Rivera had been killed in Afghanistan. My heart is broken Im not going to have him anymore, she said. On Friday night, surrounded by family and friends, his mother wore his hefty ring from boot camp around her neck. Rivera was big. And strong. He was in great shape, said Cristobal Rivera, an uncle. He was always outgoing and fun and competing. Always competiting, added Felix Torres, Velmas husband. Together, they had a blended family that included two boys and two girls. The siblings looked up to Rivera as a mentor. Rivera was just promoted to Corporal last week. He was supporting combat operations in the Farah Province of Afghanistan when he was killed. A 2006 graduate of Homestead Senior High, Rivera wanted to be a firefighter for the Marines. Thats what he wanted to do. Thats the uniform he wanted to wear, said his uncle. After high school, and serving in the ROTC for four years, Rivera had graduated from the Miami-Dade Fire academy. But after being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and then sent to Afghanistan in May, he never got to fight fires. He still served his country. Were going to miss him. Were really going to miss him, said Felix. His wife has grown tired of the war. We are wondering when this is gonna stop. Its 8 years already. And how many more how many more heroes they need? she asked. Riveras uncle made a plea: To everybody out there everytime you see a service man say thank you. Thank you for the service youve done. Guzman had been taking classes at Miami-Dade College and according to his MySpace page he had dream of becoming a firefighter.