Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) recently spoke in honor of the memory of Army Staff Sergeant Milton Rivera-Vargas, who lost his life on December 8, 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rivera-Vargas was a member of the 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry Regiment, Puerto Rico Army National Guard, Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico.
A memorial website has messages for the family of Staff Sergeant Rivera-Vargas, including these words from his niece Minerva Rivera, which Rep. Kelly quoted:
“My uncle was the best person around. He always had a smile on his face. He always protected us in every way… I still remember the last day I saw him. The last thing he told us was to pray for him and to not worry about him because he would be home soon. That day never came.”
SSG Rivera-Vargas was buried at Los Robles Memorial park in Cabo Rojo, Cabo Rojo Municipality, Puerto Rico, USA.
“SSG Rivera-Vargas proudly served our nation,” Kelly said. “His service and sacrifice will always be remembered.”
Kelly voted against the $36.5 billion disaster aid package that the House passed for Puerto Rico and other natural disaster areas. He was the only representative of Mississippi to do so.
Having served in the Mississippi National Guard for 31 years, Kelly often speaks up for fallen soldiers. Last year, he sponsored legislation to name a post office in Oxford, Mississippi, the “Army First Lieutenant Donald C. Carwile Post Office Building.”