Sergeant Rafael Peralta
(April 7, 1979–November 15, 2004) assigned to 1st Battalion
, 3rd Marine Regiment
, 3rd Marine Division
, III Marine Expeditionary Force
, Marine Corps Base Hawaii
, was a United States Marine
killed in combat during Second Battle of Fallujah
in the city of Fallujah
. In September 2008, his family was notified that he was awarded the Navy Cross
, the second highest award a United States Marine can receive.
Rafael Peralta was born on April 7, 1979 in Mexico City
. Son of Rafael and Rosa Peralta, the oldest of four, with siblings Icelda, Karen and Ricardo, he immigrated to the United States, graduated from Morse High School
in 1997, and joined the United States Marine Corps
as soon as he had a green card
in 2000. He later became an American citizen while serving in the Marine Corps.
According to accounts, Peralta served the United States with enthusiasm and patriotism: "In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution
, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp
graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, 'be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American.'"
Killed in action
On November 15, 2004, 25 year old Sgt. Peralta, deployed to Iraq as a scout team leader assigned to Company A, 1st......