When Sgt. Orlando Rivera found out the day he could come home after his deployment, the Marine worked with Westfield Franklin Park Mall staff to organize a surprise reunion with his family.
Under the guise of a "Family Award" event for his 9-year-old daughter, Gabriella, Sgt. Rivera was reunited with his family and friends at the food court on Friday.
Sgt. Rivera, an infantry mortarman with the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, was scheduled to be home in May 2012 when his assignment was extended for a year. An active serviceman for seven years, Sgt. Rivera reenlisted for another three and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served in several African countries strengthening ties between communities and stabilizing the continent.
Welcome home, Sgt. Rivera!