In January 1947 a new Veterans of Foreign Wars post No. 7906 was established in Alvarado in the Odd Fellow Hall, then operated by the Eagles fraternal organization. The post was named for Paul Edwards Rivers, the first serviceman from Alvarado to be killed in World War II.
Rivers grew up in Alvarado, the youngest of nine children. He graduated from Washington Union High School in 1939. While in high school, Rivers played football and baseball. He was active in drama and public speaking. He was also president of his class during his junior and senior years.
In July 1941, Rivers jointed the Royal Canadian Air Force to attend pilot training. In October, Rivers wrote back home saying that he was with Initial Training School No. 4, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Rivers eventually earned his pilots wings. While in Canada, Rivers met the Duke of Kent, who was visiting a number of military installations in Canada. In May 1942, Rivers transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps and was sent overseas. With the rank of Sergeant, Rivers was part of the “flying sergeants”, a group of pilots of enlisted rank.
In August 1942, Rivers participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where he went missing during combat. In February 1945, the government sent a letter to his mother, where he was “presumed dead” and awarded the Purple Heart.
When the new post was formed, his mother, Mary Rivers, was an honored guest at the installation ceremony. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post No. 7906 is still active and meets at the Veterans Hall in Niles.