NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY, Point Mugu, Calif. (NNS) -- Flashing lights and a cascade of water heralded the arrival of the twin-engine jet carrying fallen Marine Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., whose remains were flown from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, Aug. 17.
Rivera, 20, an Oxnard native, died while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan Aug. 10.
Rivera was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
NBVC Port Hueneme-based Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division, a reserve infantry company, coordinated the flight and family participation, ensuring the family's wishes were adhered to for the arrival of Rivera's remains. The company is responsible for rendering military funeral honors to all Marines who have served their country from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Civilian and military members from all corners of NBVC coordinated an appropriate ceremonial arrival and transfer for the fallen Marine. His extended family filled the air terminal and the streets were lined with Patriot Guard Riders, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who attend military funerals across the nation to honor the fallen.
Active duty and reserve Sailors and Marines gathered in uniform to render honors to their fallen brother. NBVC command staff honored Rivera in summer whites, standing stiffly at attention and saluting his flag-draped casket as it was carried from the plane to a waiting hearse.
Across base, electronic marquees flashed a single message, "Fair winds and following seas, Cpl. Rivera. Semper Fi."
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