Po­lice of­fi­cer re­turns from Afghanistan to hero’s wel­come

The Advance of Bucks County - - BRISTOL AREA - By El­iz­a­beth Fisher

Ad­vance cor­re­spon­dent

BRIS­TOL BOROUdH - The sirens that pierced the late af­ter­noon air on Satur­day had noth­ing to do with a catas­tro­phe. The racket from fire en­gines, po­lice cars and other emer­gency ve­hi­cles that snaked their way through bor­ough streets for once her­alded a joy­ful event: bor­ough po­lice of­fi­cer Car­los Rivera’s re­turn from Afghanistan.

aressed in desert cam­ou­flage, Rivera, 49, was show­ered with greet­ings and kisses, squeezed by hugs as a grate­ful community poured out of cars and houses near Rivera’s home to greet their re­turn­ing hero, ply­ing him with cigars and a beer.

“This is great. It’s al­ways good to know there’s a car­ing community be­hind you,” said Rivera, who in civil­ian life is the town’s aARE (arug Abuse Re­sis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion) of­fi­cer.

The year he spent in Afghanistan is the third tour of duty in the Mid­dle East in the past 8 years. He did two tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. A sergeant in the U.S. Army, Rivera served in the 357th MP Com­pany. He said he could not dis­cuss specifics of his du­ties other than to say his com­pany ac­com­plished the mis­sion they set out to do, some­times in haz­ardous con­di­tions.

“Some places in Afghanistan are dan­ger­ous but my job was to make sure my sol­diers got back safe,” and they did, Rivera said.

au­r­ing the cel­e­bra­tions, Rivera posed for pic­tures with his wife Ivonne and his chil­dren, Zachary, Nathan and Larissa. life at war can be.

“His was a dif­fer­ent type of war. We fought in jun­gles and we knew who the en­emy was. Car­los fought among build­ings where the en­emy was not so rec­og­niz­able,” Lebo said.

Rivera will get some time to rest be­fore re­turn­ing to pa­trol du­ties, said bor­ough po­lice Chief Arnie Porter, who was part of the es­cort. Porter said that the aARE pro­gram in Sny­der-dirotti El­e­men­tary School, Bris­tol High School and St. Mark El­e­men­tary School had been on hold in Rivera’s ab­sence, but the chief said he ex­pects the pro­gram to re­sume in gan­uary.

“We’ve missed him as a pa­trol of­fi­cer and as a good friend. He’s a well re­spected of­fi­cer in town,” Porter said.

Bris­tol coun­cil­woman Lor­raine Cullen ex­pressed her hope that Rivera is home to stay.

“He’s such a good fam­ily man. For him to have given his time in the ser­vice makes us very proud of him, but he’s done enough,” Cullen said.

Pho­to­graphs by Jeff Werner

Bris­tol Bor­ough Mayor Robert Lebo wel­comes po­lice of­fi­cer Car­los Rivera home from Afghanistan.

Bris­tol Bor­ough Po­lice Chief Arnie Porter and mem­bers of the po­lice force were there to wel­come home one of their own, Car­los Rivera.

Car­los Rivera is re­united with his chil­dren, Zachary, Nathan and Larissa.

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