Daisy Rivera – U.S. Army Signal Corp

Daisy Rivera has always been an adventure lover. When she was recruited for the military as a high school teenager, she knew it was the right fit for her thrill-seeking character. She served 10 years in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist in the Signal Corp. Her main responsibility in this role was to install radios and messaging, integral elements of clear communication. Daisy was stationed in Germany, Colorado, and South Korea during the Gulf War in 1991.

One of the hardest days of her life was the day she said goodbye to her one-year-old son at the airport, from which she was leaving for South Korea for an entire year. After learning how difficult it can be to say goodbye to those you love, she made the tough decision to leave the military and focus on family. Thereafter, she became a 911 operator for 21 years. She also served in the National Guard and Army Reserves while working full-time. She was the first-ever female commander of the Lincolnwood American Legion Post #1226.

Today, Daisy is the Midwest Branch Manager at Merendino Cemetery Care, where she oversees grounds management for 15 cemeteries. She works out of the Chicago branch, where she manages a team of five. She has a great trusting relationship with her team, which she attributes to her time in service. “You have to trust in your leaders. I trust them, and therefore the trust is returned,” Daisy explains.