Carroll County

Carrollton Army reservist killed in drone strike was ‘beacon of positivity’

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — In scripture, songs and a video tribute, Staff Sgt. William Jerome Rivers was honored for his service and sacrifice at a memorial service.

Rivers was killed just days before his 47th birthday during a drone attack on a remote base in Jordan. The strike killed two other Georgia soldiers and injured dozens more.

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At Tuesday’s celebration of life service, Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp paid their respects along with fellow soldiers and Rivers’ commanding general.

Brig. Gen. Todd Lazaroski, commander of the Army Reserve’s 412th Theater Engineer Command, spoke about Rivers’ kindness, work ethic, spirit and example to those he served with.

“He was a friend, a confidant, and a beacon of positivity in the darkest of times. His infectious smile and wisdom were a source of comfort and inspiration to his fellow soldiers,” Lazaroski said.


The service was also streamed live on the funeral home’s Facebook page as fellow soldiers from his company still stationed watched from overseas.

Following the ceremony, a flag-draped casket moved to the hearse waiting to carry him to the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

“SSGT Rivers, your spirit will forever flow within our hearts…rest easy my friend, your duty is done and your legacy will endure,” Lazaroski said.

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