Ft. Stockton Remembers A Hometown Hero 3/8/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
March 8, 2013
CBS 7 Exclusive Report
FT. STOCKTON-Like many high school graduates, Jesus Rivera left Ft. Stockton to serve his country in the military, and with his recent passing comes the story of how Rivera was a military hero.
Jesus Nahum Rivera was a proud family man--the father of a young son and daughter--a brother, a son, a husband, he passed away at just 26.
"I hope that they will take heart, although it was a short life, he had some fine moments," said former principal Joe Baker, who watched Rivera in his transition from high school to military service.
Rivera was also a decorated veteran; he was awarded a Bronze Star Award With Valor--for saving another man's life.
That fellow serviceman is Leroy Esco--he says he owes his life to Rivera. Esco got hit with an explosive in the heat of battle.
Rivera pushed through enemy fire in Sadr City to reach Esco, and take him back to safety.
"I remember those few minutes we had in the back of that truck while he patched me up, he was a humble guy, he did his job and he did it well,” Esco said.
The heroic story is comforting for those closest to Rivera.
"Knowing that my brother went out and risked his life for some other guy that he barely knew is a good thing—he brought him home," said Miguel Rivera, his brother.
Rivera passed away with no life insurance to cover funeral expenses--his fellow service members are helping.
Esco said it has been difficult for him and others dealing with the stress of coming back from war, and that this was a chance to come together.
"It brought us closer," Esco said. “And we’re gonna do whatever we can to keep his memory alive.”
Rivera’s funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at noon at Templo Agua Viva Church at 1009 South Sanderson Hwy. 285.
You can make a donation to the Jesus N. Rivera Memorial Fund at the West Texas State Bank at 809 West Dickinson Blvd in Ft. Stockton, TX.
The routing number is 112321839 and the account number is 12631800. You can call the bank directly at (432) 336-7139.