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Marine sacrifices his life for others in grenade blast
Seattle Times ^ | 11/20/04 | Gordon Trowbridge

Posted on 11/22/2004 8:05:18 PM PST by saquin

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Sgt. Rafael Peralta built a reputation as a man who always put his Marines' interests ahead of his own.

He showed that again, when he made the ultimate sacrifice of his life Tuesday, by shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade blast.

"It's stuff you hear about in boot camp, about World War II and Tarawa Marines who won the Medal of Honor," said Lance Cpl. Rob Rogers, 22, of Tallahassee, Fla., one of Peralta's platoon mates in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.

One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.

Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.

As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.

"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga.

The Marines said such a sacrifice would be perfectly in character for Peralta, a Mexico native who lived in San Diego and gained U.S. citizenship after joining the Marines.

"He'd stand up for his Marines to an insane point," Rogers said.

Rogers and others remembered Peralta as a squared-away Marine, so meticulous about uniform standards that he sent his camouflage uniform to be pressed while training in Kuwait before entering Iraq.

But mostly they remembered acts of selflessness: offering career advice, giving a buddy a ride home from the bar, teaching salsa dance steps in the barracks.

While Alpha Company was still gathering information, and a formal finding on Peralta's death is likely months away, not a single Marine in Alpha Company doubted the account of Peralta's act of sacrifice.

"I believe it," said Alpha's commander, Capt. Lee Johnson. "He was that kind of Marine."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: fallen; fallujah; hero; iraq; marines; rafaelperalta; usmc

1 posted on 11/22/2004 8:05:19 PM PST by saquin
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To: saquin

My God.


2 posted on 11/22/2004 8:07:09 PM PST by fo0hzy
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To: saquin

God bless Sgt. Rafael Peralta and God bless our Marines.


3 posted on 11/22/2004 8:09:03 PM PST by MisterRepublican ("I must go. I must be elusive.")
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To: saquin; dd5339; cavtrooper21

Somebody better submit him for MoH...


4 posted on 11/22/2004 8:09:51 PM PST by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: saquin

Medal of Honor recommendation is warranted.


5 posted on 11/22/2004 8:12:27 PM PST by agincourt1415 (OK, Democrats ITS OVER, GET OVER IT!)
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To: saquin

God Bless, Marine!


6 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:00 PM PST by REDWOOD99
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To: Vic3O3
I think I just found a picture of him here... (on left)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
7 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:00 PM PST by fo0hzy
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To: saquin

This man deserves our highest honors. And a place in Arlington.


8 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:08 PM PST by helmetmaker
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To: saquin

I don't even know what to say. I'll bet if you went to heaven right now and asked him, he'd say he was just doing his job.


9 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:08 PM PST by Steel Wolf (Aut viam inveniam aut faciam - I will either find a way or make one)
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To: All

Rafael Peralta
10 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:11 PM PST by saquin
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To: saquin

God bless him. His country and fellow soldiers were certainly blessed to have him.


11 posted on 11/22/2004 8:13:31 PM PST by dalebert
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To: saquin
I don't even know what to say.

I am humbled, honored and proud all at the same time.

This honorable man's parents did an incredible job raising him. His love for his country and his comrades is incredible.
12 posted on 11/22/2004 8:18:40 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (Free the Fallujah one.)
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To: fo0hzy

Remind me why we aren't smiting these terrorist thugs when they're A GRENADE'S THROW AWAY?! Why did this boy have to die -- so that America wouldn't look too aggressive?

Let's ramp up the firepower. Now.


13 posted on 11/22/2004 8:21:13 PM PST by Jew4GWB (Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in.)
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To: TASMANIANRED

Prayers for the family.


14 posted on 11/22/2004 8:22:07 PM PST by Twinkie
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To: saquin
I served in the Marine Corps 1983-1987. My last duty station was with 1st battalion 3rd Marines, Alpha company, weapons platoon. I was the squad leader for the anti tank assault squad.

My first duty station was Naval Air Station Barbers Point for barracks duty. My battalion Sgt Major there was Sgt Major A.J. Kellog. He only needed to wear one ribbon, a little blue one with white stars. He won his MOH by jumping on a grenade in Vietnam. Even your hair stood at attention when he was around.

To Sgt. Rafael Peralta and his family and brother Marines, Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Semper Fidelis
15 posted on 11/22/2004 8:22:08 PM PST by dd5339 (A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path.)
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To: saquin

No truer hero.


16 posted on 11/22/2004 8:22:18 PM PST by mommya
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To: saquin
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Rest in Peace

17 posted on 11/22/2004 8:22:23 PM PST by Licensed-To-Carry (Praise be to the LORD, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Hey Tonk, thought you'd appreciate the sacrifice of this fine young man.

Prayers for his family in this time of trouble, and may they know the admiration and awe we feel towards the selfless act of this Marine. There is no greater love.


18 posted on 11/22/2004 8:24:12 PM PST by eyespysomething ("Life has a flavor the protected will never know...." Major Jason Muldoon)
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To: saquin

The liberals cannot fathom and do not appreciate such an act of valor. It flies in the face of their narcissistic, let the good times roll philosophy.

God bless that Marine.


19 posted on 11/22/2004 8:28:36 PM PST by SerpentDove (Welcome to Gloat Central. Pull up a chair.)
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To: SerpentDove

>>The liberals cannot fathom and do not appreciate such an act of valor.<<

This is so the truth!

God Bless this Marine and please give peace to his family.


20 posted on 11/22/2004 8:31:51 PM PST by netmilsmom (Zell on DEM Christianity, "They can hum the tune, but can't sing the song.")
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To: saquin
The greatness that is America is made of such men.

God Bless Sgt. Peralta. Rest in Peace.

21 posted on 11/22/2004 8:37:20 PM PST by Navy Patriot
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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.


22 posted on 11/22/2004 8:37:29 PM PST by anonposter
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To: saquin

Duty, honor, country. By doing his duty above and beyond, Rafael Peralta exhibited the greatest honor, and now it is his country's turn to honor him.
He will be front and center at my office on my 'Wall of Honor' tomorrow.
Well done, Marine! Rest in the peace you so richly deserve.
Semper fi ... always loyal, every faithful.


23 posted on 11/22/2004 8:40:01 PM PST by ArmyTeach (Non nobis, Domine, sed nomine tuo da gratia.)
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To: saquin; geopyg
Also: Marine's last act took his life, saved others. from last night's thread regarding The Army Times article reprinted in The Deseret News.
24 posted on 11/22/2004 8:43:52 PM PST by bd476
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To: Modernman

Ping.


25 posted on 11/22/2004 8:44:18 PM PST by BroncosFan ("If I'm dead, why do I still have to go to the bathroom?" - Thomas Dewey, 1948)
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To: saquin
Compare this level of unwavering leadership and self sacrifice to the consistent cowardice of our enemy! May God bless this Sergeant and his family.

John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

26 posted on 11/22/2004 8:45:25 PM PST by TChris (You keep using that word. I don't think it means what yHello, I'm a TAGLINE vir)
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To: saquin

Semper Fidelis


27 posted on 11/22/2004 8:47:34 PM PST by Flora McDonald (Stand the Storm!)
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To: saquin

Give him MoH. WOW! What a soldier. Thank you for your sacrifice. :(


28 posted on 11/22/2004 8:52:29 PM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Thank You America!! For re-electing G W Bush of course!!!)
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To: saquin

Oh my.............. tears.


29 posted on 11/22/2004 8:54:41 PM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: saquin

This Marine is what America is all about...even though he might look different then you.......his blood ran Red, White and Blue..........


30 posted on 11/22/2004 9:01:10 PM PST by marmar (Faith is a beautiful thing.....)
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To: saquin

He's brings glory to his family and honor to his (new) nation.

America's best.


31 posted on 11/22/2004 9:07:13 PM PST by Finalapproach29er (You can drive from coast to coast and never pass through a single county won by Kerry.)
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To: saquin; KiloLima; eagle mama

God Bless this HERO, Sgt. Rafael Peralta! Many prayers for his family!!


32 posted on 11/22/2004 9:14:07 PM PST by Ros42
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To: saquin
"I believe it," said Alpha's commander, Capt. Lee Johnson. "He was that kind of Marine."

Another story indicates that this young hero was an undocumented immigrant. IOW, he died for the country he loved.

33 posted on 11/22/2004 9:19:24 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: saquin

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." -- George S. Patton


34 posted on 11/22/2004 9:25:31 PM PST by Patriot Hooligan ("God have mercy on my enemies because I won't." General George S. Patton)
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To: saquin

Someone put it so simply yet so elegantly: "Where do we get such men?"


35 posted on 11/22/2004 9:26:09 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: saquin
"Uncommon valor was a common virtue!" The stuff true Marines are made of! Semper Fidelis
36 posted on 11/22/2004 9:31:15 PM PST by pke
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To: saquin
Sgt. Rafael Peralta - MoH.

Rest with the Lord Marine.

37 posted on 11/22/2004 9:33:23 PM PST by Khurkris (That sound you hear coming from over the horizon...thats me laughing.)
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To: OldPossum

The Marines said such a sacrifice would be perfectly in character for Peralta, a Mexico native who lived in San Diego and gained U.S. citizenship after joining the Marines.

Interesting how those who think we should "seal the borders" are eerily silent right now.

Peralta, may have been born Mexican, but he died a great American. God Bless.


38 posted on 11/22/2004 9:36:14 PM PST by proudpapa (of three.)
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To: saquin

I quess there wasn't a embedded news crew to get a film of that.


39 posted on 11/22/2004 9:37:57 PM PST by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: saquin; fo0hzy; MisterRepublican; Vic3O3; agincourt1415; REDWOOD99; helmetmaker; Steel Wolf; ...
There was an article published on this brave Marine this weekend in my local paper:

If you read no further... read this article:

Marine's death in Fallujah adds to their losses(San Diego Union Tribune.)

It was about the series of tragedies this family has endured. Sgt Peralta's fiance died recently, while burying her own mother a few days after they were to be married.

It was about what kind of man he was - before he was really old enough to be one. About how he waited until he got his Green Card to join the Marines.. his dream.

It was about the letters his family received after he died - and he had never written before, but wrote the night before he was killed protecting his brothers.... he is described as a "family man in the truest sense of the word." We know it to be so.

And it was about the recurring dream that was haunting him: the one where his fiance says she is coming to get him - she is taking him with her.

He knew he would not be coming back from Iraq to his family. And he told them all in letters how proud he was of all of them. A friend said of him: "He said he was ready to die, and had reconciled with God."

He made me proud as well - just reading about his brave selflessness.. before he even went to war.

God Bless this Brave Marine ... and those who still fight in his name and other fallen heroes.

40 posted on 11/22/2004 9:51:08 PM PST by cgk (The Left was beaten by Pres Bush twice & will never have another shot at him... who's dumb?)
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To: Former Military Chick; RaceBannon

ping to thread and link in #40. Thought you'd enjoy reading another example of "What is a Hero?"


41 posted on 11/22/2004 9:52:44 PM PST by cgk (The Left was beaten by Pres Bush twice & will never have another shot at him... who's dumb?)
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To: cgk

Honor to his family. I hope he was a believer, and not just a talker about God. May his family grieve in the pride of national sacrifice for their security.


42 posted on 11/22/2004 10:20:31 PM PST by Righter-than-Rush
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To: cgk
...His fiancee died after an auto accident in December 2003

Together forever, now.

Heart-breaking story that fills you with pride. He was a new American, and every inch a brave man. Thanks for the link.
43 posted on 11/22/2004 10:27:54 PM PST by fo0hzy
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To: cgk
And it was about the recurring dream that was haunting him: the one where his fiance says she is coming to get him - she is taking him with her.

He knew he would not be coming back from Iraq to his family. And he told them all in letters how proud he was of all of them. A friend said of him: "He said he was ready to die, and had reconciled with God."

This is full on weird. Such signals are normally the hallmark of the devil, not of God. I suppose it was good that he died covering a grenade, but I'm not sure having a doom-minded Marine in a squad would be an unequivocally good thing.

44 posted on 11/22/2004 10:38:10 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck

The dream weirded me out also. "coming to get (him)" and "taking (him) with her"... that would be a warning signal for me. Unless it is not being passed onto the readers correctly.


45 posted on 11/22/2004 10:47:27 PM PST by cgk (The Left was beaten by Pres Bush twice & will never have another shot at him... who's dumb?)
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To: saquin
...who more than self their country loved,

and mercy more than life.

America, America, God shed His grace on thee.

And crown thy good with brotherhood,

from sea to shining sea.

This young Marine represents everything that has allowed our great nation to survive for the past 229 years.

46 posted on 11/22/2004 10:49:18 PM PST by Stonewall Jackson (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. - John Adams)
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To: saquin

A real hero


47 posted on 11/24/2004 3:03:21 PM PST by knighthawk (We will always remember We will always be proud We will always be prepared so we may always be free)
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