Ends, Hopes Does Not
By MELISSA PLATA
Following the death of a fallen soldier from Jackson Heights there
was a nine-day vigil held at his mother’s home. Spec. Jorge
Rivadeneira was killed in a roadside bombing; three others from his
unit were also killed when a bomb went off next to their vehicle during
a combat mission. In attendance was the mother of MIA Army Spec. Alex
Prior to her son’s death, Clark joined a group named Copola,
a Latino support system for parents who have sons and daughters away
at war. She had seen Maria Duran, the mother of 25-year-old MIA soldier,
on TV talking about her son’s disappearance and wanted to support
her, never imagining that her son could meet a similar fate.
“Now I feel her pain,” Clark said.
Jimenez has been unaccounted for since May 12 2007 in Al Taqa, Iraq
when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire
and explosives. Five other soldiers were also killed in the attack.
The search continues for Jimenez, but he is suspected captured and
killed after a third captive turned up dead. Jimenez’s wife
had illegally entered the United States from the Dominican Republic
and had not yet obtained a Green Card and now fears extradition.
“I can’t imagine a bigger injustice than that, to be deporting
someone’s wife who is fighting and possibly dying for our country,”
Jimenez’s lawyer said. Jimenez is applying for a hardship green
card, and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) has reportedly taken
an interest in the case.
The mothers of the fallen soldiers at the vigil in Queens oppose to
the war and are working with Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona)
to rally support to end the war in Iraq. They hope to bring more publicity
and join together the anti-war community.
“I hope his death is not in vain but for a good reason and that
all these kids come home” said Rivadeneira’s mother, Martha
Clark. “Please stop this war so that our children stop shedding
blood and dying.”
“They don’t even know what they’re fighting for,
they are fighting people in their same situation,” Clark said.
“They go because they have no other choice.”
As the vigil wrapped up Spec. Daniel Jorge, who said he feared being
shipped out to Afghanistan the following week, got up and hugged Rivadeneira’s
mother. He presented her a “patch and pen,” which is from
her son’s unit.
Though the tags and ID for Spec. Jimenez have been found in Iraq,
he has not. The family continues to hope.