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Faces of Fort Hood: Marta Rivera

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Posted at 7:23 PM, Feb 01, 2023

KILLEEN, Texas — Military service often comes with a sense of duty to your community that lasts a lifetime.

That is exactly how it is for Marta Rivera, retired Army veteran member of the Women’s Army Corps of Veterans.

Born in Puerto Rico, she grew up as a military dependent right here in Killeen, after her father was stationed at Fort Hood.

”This was way back in 1957 when we came to Killeen,” Rivera said. “It was like a new city. There weren’t that many people here and he got stationed here. So, he left and my mom and all the little siblings. We all stayed here.”

After watching her father serve 30 years in the Army and growing up at Fort Hood, she chose to put on the uniform herself and spent 20 years serving the Army community around the world.

”I got a chance to really do a lot in food service,” said Rivera. “I got a chance to work in the hospital and do dietitian work for the patients. I got a chance to go to Andrews Air Force Base and help out there like a military airline stewardess. Oh, I had a chance to do a little bit of everything.”

Now in retirement, she spends her time serving the community that raised her.

”So, I volunteered with the school system, KISD, that’s my alma mater,” said Rivera. “I’ve joined a lot of organizations like the VFW and the DAV. There’s a lot of organizations that I help. I help with the elections in the City of Killeen. You know, I think it’s important for everyone to help.”

At home, she raises her great-niece who is following in her footsteps in the JROTC as a sophomore at Harker Heights High School.

”Auntie tells me all these stories about how she travels and goes places and I'm the type of person where, I want to travel, see everything, and have the personal experience,” Diayzia Rivera said.

The future soldier has a message for the aunt who took her in and inspires her every day.

”Auntie, I'm really grateful for you,” she said. “If it wasn't for you, I wouldn’t be here. Literally, I would be somewhere else right now. I don’t know where I would be without you and because of you, I’m the young lady I am today.”

Marta Rivera served her country for two decades and has continued serving her community since she retired in 2004 — with no plans of ever stopping.