Thursday, February 8, 2024



SSG William J. Rivers Obituary

SSG. William Jerome Rivers, affectionately known as “Will,” was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 1977. He was the second son of Annette Belinda Jenkins and Edward Rivers. The vibrant neighborhoods of Philadelphia shaped William’s formative years. He spent his early childhood in North Philadelphia, where he was surrounded by the warmth of family and friends.

William received his education within the Philadelphia Public Schools system. He proudly graduated from Germantown High School and continued to pursue further studies at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln Technical Institute.

 William had the pleasure of meeting and eventually marrying Darlene Arnold, a joyous union that brought forth their beloved son, William Rivers Jr. He embodied unwavering dedication as a loving spouse and father. William had a gentle demeanor and a fierce and determined personality and was always ready to face life’s challenges with courage and resilience. He had an infectious smile, a warm heart, and a genuine ability to make everyone around him feel valued and loved. He was a pillar of strength and a loving presence in the lives of his family. His kindness, compassion, and relentless support were the foundation of their happiness and well-being.

 SSG. William J. Rivers enlisted in the Army Reserve on August 30, 2011, as an Interior Electrician (12R). He was first assigned to the 990th Engineer Company at Fort McGuire-Dix in N.J. after completing advanced individual training, then served with the 465th Vertical Engineer Company. In 2018, SSG Rivers was assigned to the 375th Vertical Construction Company and completed a 9-month rotation to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. In 2022, SSG Rivers was assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, Fort Moore, Ga. SSG River’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device and Bronze hourglass, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, two Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with Campaign Star and a Combat Badge.

 SSG. Rivers was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of many. From a young age, he displayed a deep sense of patriotism and a desire to serve his country. In pursuit of his passion, SSG. Rivers enlisted in the military and embarked on a remarkable journey that would make him a true American hero. Throughout his distinguished career, SSG. Rivers demonstrated valor, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to his duty. He served with honor and distinction, going above and beyond the call of duty to protect and defend his fellow servicemen and women and the values that make this nation great.

 William was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Edward Rivers and Annette Belinda Jenkins. He leaves to cherish his memories: Wife, Darlene Rivers; Son, William Rivers Jr.; Stepson, Leonard (Kim) Chisholm; Stepdaughter, Leah Chisholm; Special Friend/Brother, Lindon Barrett; Brother, Edward Jenkins; Sister, Shabrae Jones; Sister, Alliner (Michelle)Jenkins; Brother-in-Laws, Donald (Deloris) Arnold and Wayne Arnold, and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and friends. SSG. William Rivers will forever be remembered as a true American hero, a loving husband, a devoted father, and a selfless individual who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

 A funeral service will be held to honor and celebrate SSG. Rivers life on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 10:00 AM from Tabernacle Baptist Church, with Dr. James Betner officiating. For those unable to attend the service, a live stream of the service will be available on Hightower Family Funeral Home’s Facebook page. A private interment service will take place at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

 The family will receive friends at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Monday, February 12, 2024, from 2:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

 Messages of condolences can be sent to the family at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Carroll County Prepares to Honor Fallen Georgia Soldier Sgt. William Jerome Rivers


By Rohit Mehta

Published on January 31, 2024

Tributes are being organized in Carroll County for Army reservist Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, one of the three Georgia soldiers tragically killed in a recent drone strike in Jordan. Sgt. Rivers, along with Specialist Kennedy Sanders of Waycross, and Specialist Breonna Moffett from Savannah, lost their lives during a strike on a U.S. base near the Syrian border, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta. The community is set to inscribe Sgt. Rivers’ name is on the wall at the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park, honoring those who fell in service.

Speaking to WJCL, retired US Army Lt. Col. Barry Gardner, president of the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park Association, expressed his commitment to commemorating the fallen soldier. "Our hearts are broken," Gardner said, indicating the association will add Sgt. Rivers's name to their wall honoring the fallen. He added, "The term brotherhood, sisterhood is probably overused, but it's a fact. And Sgt. Rivers' name will be approximately in this area down here under a new title."

Sgt. Rivers had been part of the 718th Engineering Company at Fort Moore, joining the Army Reserve in 2011 and completing a 9-month tour in Iraq. The Department of Defense confirms his significant contributions to the nation’s military efforts. According to FOX 5, a dedication ceremony in the park will fully honor Sgt. Rivers for his service and sacrifice.

A date for the dedication ceremony is yet to be announced, as the organizers remain in communication with the Rivers' family, taking their readiness into account. The expected ceremony will likely attract a large gathering including community members, the American Legion's rifle squad, and a contingent from Fort Moore as per details shared with FOX 5. Lt. Col. Gardner conveyed his personal connection to the losses faced in combat, stating, "I'm 25 year active duty in the Army, myself. Vietnam, in the beginning. A few of my friends were killed in action, and any time a service member dies in action it hits home for me."

Uniformed military officers reportedly delivered the somber news to Sgt. Rivers' family in Carrollton, and local police have been providing privacy support. Gardner expressed that the soldiers’ families made the ultimate sacrifice. "My condolences to the family of all three soldiers. They've given the ultimate sacrifice, and we're here to honor them," he told FOX 5.


The arrangements for SSG William Jerome Rivers are incomplete at this time and will be announced in the coming days by Martin & Hightower Funeral Home. The family asks for your continued prayers during this difficult time.


Messages of condolences can be sent to the family at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.