Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Sgt. Rafael Peralta, American Hero

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a former Mexican national who was granted citizenship after joining the military, was on a brief mission as platoon scout in Fallujah, Iraq. He came across a Marine first assult team, about to secure a suspected insurgent house. Not even assigned to the dangerous assault mission, Peralta volunteered his assistance. He was one of the first to enter the house and immediately was wounded in the face by a rifle shot near the front door. As Peralta and other Marines were seeking cover in the house, the enemy rolled a frag grenade into the room. As some of the Marines fled for their lives, trying to break their way through a locked door, Peralta cradled the grenade to minimize the injuries to his new friends. He was killed instantly, but Marines are certain he saved several other lives.

Peralta was 25 years old and assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.


Updated list of coalition deaths

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