By Capt. Chekesha A. Eggleston
Commander, HHD 114th Signal Battalion
The 9th Signal Command (Army) lost a true hero, team player, and Soldier March 24, after a short battle with stomach cancer. Staff Sgt. Luis A. Rivera-Sanchez was a member of the 114th Signal Battalion, 21st Signal Brigade, and worked in the National Gateway Center - Raven Rock as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge. He began working at Raven Rock Mountain Complex on May 9, 2007.
His hard work, dedication, and motivation made him one of the most revered NCOs within the unit. He was most known for his heavy accent and his ability to out walk anyone in the unit.
Rivera attended the University of Puerto Rico and received a Baccalaureate Degree in Accounting in 1992.
He enlisted into the United States Army on Nov. 11,1999 as a Specialist.
Since he knew very little English, he was required to attend the language school at Lackland Air Force Base for six months. After completing Advanced Individual Training, Rivera was awarded the 75H (Personnel Administrative Specialist) Military Occupational Specialty, and in 2006 he reclassified to a 25B (Information Systems Operator). His first assignment as a 25B took him to Kuwait from April 27, 2006 to April 25, 2007.
From Kuwait he was assigned to the 21st Signal Brigade.
Rivera received a multitude of awards to include the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, which was awarded to him in 2010 for his superior work within the community. He spent hundreds of hours of his personal time coaching youth basketball on Fort Detrick.
His efforts kept children occupied, focused, and goal oriented. Other awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC), the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal (2 OLC), the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He was also awarded the Driver and Mechanic Badge.
Rivera married Nancy Rivera on Oct.14, 1999. They have two sons, Jerry Luis Rivera Ramon, 18, and Raymond Luis Rivera Ramon, 17.
Jerry is a freshman at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He plays soccer, tennis, basketball and played on the HHD/A Company volleyball team during the 2009-2010 season.
Raymond is a senior at Frederick High School and plays tennis and swims. He plans to attend Hood College upon graduation.