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Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas E. Rivers Jr.

Died April 28, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Birmingham, Ala.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 28 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

‘He wanted that tough challenge and he wanted the action’

The Associated Press

Thomas Rivers had no doubts in his mind that he wanted to be a Marine when he graduated, friends said.

Fred Yancey, who coached Rivers on Briarwood Christian School’s varsity football team, said Rivers was mature and hard-working.

“I see Thomas Rivers as a young man of dedication, a leader of men, a big team, little me kind of guy,” Yancey said. “I knew God had given Thomas a great plan as a U.S. Marine.”

Rivers, 22, of Hoover, Ala., was killed by a roadside bomb April 28 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C. He graduated from Briarwood in 2007 and had previously served in Afghanistan.

Yancey said Rivers was always excited about becoming a Marine.

“They have a reputation of being the toughest and that’s what drew Thomas to the Marines, I’m positive,” Yancey said. “He wanted that tough challenge and he wanted the action.”

Among Rivers’ survivors are his parents and a sister.

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