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During a service in Hohenfels on Friday, soldiers pay their respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan. Rivera, from Round Rock, Tex., died from injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an enemy attack, according to the Department of Defense.

During a service in Hohenfels on Friday, soldiers pay their respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan. Rivera, from Round Rock, Tex., died from injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an enemy attack, according to the Department of Defense. ()

During a service in Hohenfels on Friday, soldiers pay their respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan. Rivera, from Round Rock, Tex., died from injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an enemy attack, according to the Department of Defense.

During a service in Hohenfels on Friday, soldiers pay their respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan. Rivera, from Round Rock, Tex., died from injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an enemy attack, according to the Department of Defense. ()

A soldier with the 709th Military Police Battalion watches as memorial attendees pay respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan, during a Friday service in Hohenfels.

A soldier with the 709th Military Police Battalion watches as memorial attendees pay respects to Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, a military policeman killed last week in Afghanistan, during a Friday service in Hohenfels. ()

HOHENFELS, Germany — A meticulous planner, a motorcycle lover, a pull-up champ.

During a Friday ceremony here, fellow soldiers recalled military policeman Cpl. Paul A. Rivera, 26, as each knew him best. Rivera, of the 527th Military Police Company in Hohenfels, died last week of injuries suffered in a vehicle rollover during an enemy attack in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.

Lt. Col. Roger Hedgepeth, commander of the 709th Military Police Battalion, said the incident occurred after Rivera parked his vehicle on a steep overlook to support a weapons search by a dismounted squad. Hedgepeth said Rivera, “meticulous” in his pre-combat checks, had chosen the correct position for the task.

“Every member of that dismounted squad survived that day, and two weapons caches were discovered,” he said.

Hedgepeth recalled first meeting the soldier after challenging his men to a pull-up contest. Rivera’s team members fetched the corporal, who won easily. Hedgepeth remembered Rivera’s response when asked if he had come out just to beat the new battalion commander.

“He replied, ‘No sir, I just wanted to get my soldiers back to work, and that meant I had to smoke you first,’ ” he said.

Staff Sgt. Dennis Edwards recalled speaking with Rivera several weeks ago, when the corporal spoke eagerly about his new motorcycle. Edwards, Rivera’s squad leader, said the corporal made sure his men were in good shape.

Rivera, from Round Rock, Texas, was posthumously promoted to sergeant. His is the fourth death in the company since it deployed to Logar province in April for a 12-month tour.


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