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LCPL Thomas E. Rivers, Jr

!st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Alpha Company
US Marine Corps

LCPL Rivers's Act of Heroism

Thomas was on his second deployment in the Helmend Province of Afghanistan. Because of leadership ability, he had been chosen to be first team leader. On April 28, 2010, Thomas lead his team to the shell of a bombed out building to prevent mortar attacks. As patrol leader, Thomas arrived first and ordered his men to take their positions. However, one of the Marines assigned to stand watch was exhausted. A patrol leader is never required to stand a post, but Thomas told him to rest and that he would take his place. At 6:33 a.m. Thomas walked to the designated area and activated and improvised explosive device (IED). He was killed and another Marine injured. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for a friend." John 15:13.

My Hero

Thomas wanted to be a Marine since he was about 10 years old. He even wrote an essay in the 9th grade stated he wanted to be one of the "best of the best." He enlisted in the Marines right out of high school and was ready to defend his country. He spent hours practicing to become an expert marksman. His life dream was almost fulfilled when he was asked to go to sniper school but he declined because he did not want to abandon those men whom he had trained to go to war. He was a natural born leader and his men highly respected and loved him.
We knew Thomas did not die in vain and that there had been a purpose for his life and death. We have started a non-profit in his memory to send care packages to deployed Soldiers and Marines. Each box contains goodies from home and a story about Thomas, his life and death. We hope the inspirational message will reach soldiers and give them peace and comfort. You can read further about this by going to A booklet about his death entitled "in The Shadow" was published in 2011.


Thomas had the following scripture tattooed on his back: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almightyā€¯ Psalm 91:1.
A non-profit was started in in honor of Thomas' sacrifice called SOS: Support Our Soldiers". Please visit at
Serving those that are serving, have served, and honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.


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General Burwell B. Bell, U.S. Army (Retired) General Richard Cody Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates, SC, USNR (Retired) Charlie-Daniels Julie Gold Kelsey Grammer Jamie Huysman The Judds John Ondrasik Geraldo Rivera Marlon Shirley General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret) Past Honorary Board Members

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