Soldier from Brooklyn laid to rest with top military honors

SUNSET PARK - Relatives and friends paid their final respects Wednesday to a soldier from Brooklyn who died in Iraq.

A flag-draped coffin took Army Sergeant Michael Rivera, 22, to his final resting place in Sunset Park's Greenwood Cemetery. Rivera was killed last month by a roadside bomb. Rivera's brother, Alfredo Perk, helped carry the casket as family members tearfully mourned the man they describe as kind and always willing to help others. Relatives say they understand Rivera died doing what he loved. He leaves behind a wife and 6-month-old daughter.

The Army gave Rivera a 21-gun salute, in addition to posthumously awarding him a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After his death, Rivera was also promoted to the rank of sergeant from specialist.

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