Marianna, FL- A black ribbon hung in memory outside the Rivers' Marianna home Friday. Inside a mother grieved over the loss of her son.
U.S. soldier Demetrius Rivers died in Afghanistan last week from what the army told his family was a weapon malfunction.
"It was a shock and I was just hoping that, as a mother, it wasn't true, they didn't have the right soldier," said Barbara Rivers.
Rivers enrolled in the army after graduating from Marianna High School in 2009. He was deployed to Germany in 2010, then in July of last year came the news he was heading to Afghanistan.
"When he said the word Afghanistan what went through your mind?,
asked News 4's Bryan Anderson.
"Oh God, fear. He says 'There's a lot of things you need to know because I might not be coming back,' "said Rivers.
Rivers said despite that fear she never believed the unthinkable would actually happen.
"What were your son's last words to you?," asked News 4's Bryan Anderson.
"That he loved me and he wanted to take care of me," said Rivers.
"And what were you last words to him?," asked News 4's Bryan Anderson.
"I love him," Rivers answered.
As Rivers continued to mourn the loss of her son Friday, she also reflected on Demetrius' legacy.
"Oh God he was so funny," said Rivers.
She said it's his giving personality and bright smile that will last in her memory forever.
"He was a wonderful gift from God, a wonderful gift," said Rivers.
Rivers' funeral is open to the public and will be held next Saturday, March 31st, at Marianna High School at 11:00 a.m.