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Julio Rivera

June 28, 1926 – September 26, 2022

Julio “Jay” Rivera, also known as “Papa” to his family, was born on June 28th 1926 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. At age 11, he moved from Puerto Rico to New York where he was raised by his grandparents. He grew up in Manhattan playing baseball and selling newspapers as a boy. He was only 15 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and like every American kid he was fired up about the war and wanting to fight for our country’s freedom, but he was too young to enlist. With World War II still raging in Europe and in the Pacific, shortly after his 18th birthday, Jay enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned to Company K of the 414th Infantry Regiment under the 104th Infantry Division. His brigade was involved in several intense battles in Germany towards the end of the war and are credited for capturing many cities in northern Germany with one of their most notable achievements being the liberation of the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp in Nordhausen, Germany on April 11, 1945.

Jay’s time overseas was short, but the memories of the war stayed with him for a lifetime. After World War II, Jay continued his career in the U.S. Army as a reservist until 1973, but his years of public service were not over. Jay moved to Florida with his family in 1973 and then joined the Miami Metro-Dade Police Department where he served as a police officer and later as a detective until his full retirement from public service in 1995 at the age of 69!

Jay is preceded by his wife, Josephine, of 61 years and survived by his children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. He will forever be remembered as a patriot, war hero, storyteller, and lover of big band music.

Jay will be laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, February 10th with services commencing at 9:00 AM at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel.

“Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!”

I said to the Lord, “You are my God!” Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy! O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle.

Psalm 140:6-7

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