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Feb 1 2005

Sgt. Rafael Peralta - New Photos

I recently posted about a true American Hero: Sgt. Rafael Peralta. As a result, I have had the very good fortune of corresponding with Brenda Saldivar who, along with her husband Eduardo, were good friends of Rafael Peralta. I asked Brenda if she had any pictures of Rafael other than the formal one of him in his Marine dress blues-the only one I could find on the internet.

124rafaelperalta.jpgIt's easy to read about the events surrounding Rafael Peralta's life--and his death--and to look at his stoic image with his Marine cover pulled down to just above his eyes and conclude that there was something special or different about this man and that his final act of heroism was simply an expected act in keeping with his nature. However, I believe this diminishes the significance of his actions. I also believe placing Rafael Peralta on a pedestal apart and above ourselves is a defense mechanism. This way we can say to ourselves, "of course, he did that, he was different than you and me." This way we can avoid the self-realization that, no matter how much we'd like to think that we would act as Sgt. Peralta did, there is very little likelihood that we would have actually done what he did.

Here is Rafael Peralta in camouflage with his friends Brenda and Eduardo Saldivar and in red, signing to everyone "hang loose." Cpl. Saldivar and his wife were very close to Peralta having been stationed in Hawaii together. Rafael had already made plans to celebrate the first birthday party of the Saldivar's yet unborn child when he returned from Iraq.

140rafaelperalta.jpg

Sgt. Rafael Peralta epitomized what it means to be a Marine and what it means to be an American. He joined the Marine Corps the day after he received his green card and became a U.S. Citizen while in uniform. In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items: 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."

139rafaelperalta.jpg

On November 15, 2004, Sgt. Rafael Peralta volunteered to go on the very dangerous mission of clearing the city of Fallujah of terrorists house by house, room by room. At the fourth house of the morning, the second room, Peralta lead his "stack" of six marines throwing open the door of the room to be cleared only to be met by three hiding terrorists waiting with their AK-47s. Peralta was immediately struck with multiple rounds impacting his chest and face and though mortally wounded managed to jump away so as to clear the line of fire for the other Marines. While automatic gun fire was exchanged one of the terrorists rolled a grenade into the room next to where Peralta lay dying. While I and any other person just shot in the face would be wholly self-absorbed in our own pain, Peralta had the presence of mind and strength of will to commit one last selfless act. He reached out grabbed the grenade and tucked it under himself--saving the lives of four Marines nearby.

138rafaelperalta.jpg

I wanted to post these photos of Rafael to put another face on him--one of just a regular guy, an ordinary person. I believed that doing this would highlight even further the extraordinary nature of his actions on the battlefield. However, despite the images of Sgt. Rafael Peralta hanging out with his friends, drink in hand, lei around his neck, signing hang-loose, I still can't describe him as an ordinary guy or, otherwise, place him in any category with myself. But, I also now realize that his life and actions can never be diminished.

Sgt. Rafael Peralta was, at the same time, both a regular guy and a true hero. It is a contradiction that every friend of freedom and democracy should be glad existed in this amazing man. God Bless you Rafael Peralta.

[Update 8/2/06] This History Channel is going to be doing a one hour documentary honoring the valor of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. More info here.

[Update 10/19/06] Cpl. Eddie Rodriguez a good/best friend of Sgt. Peralta sent me the below photo taken at one of their favorite restaurants, Mexico Lindo, in Hawaii.

543-Lopez-Peralta-Rodriguez.jpg

From left to right: Cpl. Saldivar Lopez, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, and Cpl. Eddie Rodriguez.

Posted by Don |

110 Comments

  1. #1
    Jan said on February 1, 2005 | Reply

    Amen.

  2. Your trackbacks appear to be hosed.

  3. Thank you for the insight into a great American Hero!

  4. #4
    captjay said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    Sgt. Peralta's actions were typical of marines who have served in conflicts since the genesis of this band of brothers. Semper fi, Sgt Peralta, as you look down from above. You have honored your Corps and your Country.

  5. #5
    Don said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    Because my trackbacks have been temporarily disabled, I just wanted to document who has linked to this post. If anyone knows of any I’ve missed, please leave a comment or send me an email. In alphabetical order:

    Blogs of War

    Daou Report

    Dog Snot Diaries

    Little Miss Attila

    Mudville Gazette

    Right-Wing & Right Minded

    The Crowe

  6. #6
    Subsunk said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    Don,

    Thanks for showing the hidden side of one Real Man, SGT Peralta. I too lived in Hawaii for awhile and recognize the military parties we would occasionally hold to welcome, meet with, or say farewell to friends, new and old. I wish that I had known SGT Peralta once in my life. But my life is immeasurably better because of his service and because of what kind of man he was. God bless him. Always Faithful.

    Subsunk

  7. Came here from Mudville Gazette. I blogged about Sgt Peralta a while back because I believe he deserves to be honored and I wish more people knew about him. Thank you for posting these pictures so we can see how he lived. America lost a great hero. His sacrifice will never be forgotten. God bless his family and friends.

  8. #9
    Ralph Short said on February 3, 2005 | Reply

    The actions of Sgt. Peralta are so exceptional and of so much valor I believe he should get the Congressional Medal of Honor. I know the Marines in all have done such a great and courageous job by going door to door and house to house that they are all heroes but I also believe they would be proud when one of their own is honored with our highest medal for such outstanding deeds. God Bless him and his family.

    Ralph Short
    Garden City, South Carolina

  9. His actions were quick, smart, noble and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. My sympathies to the Saldivar family.

  10. #11
    Steve Bruno said on February 5, 2005 | Reply

    Is there any doubt that we lost one of the best and brightest here..God bless you Sgt. Peralta

  11. Sgt. Peralta's story has been one of the most moving of any personal story during this conflict. I first learned of him as he was first listed KIA as I was just starting up a group of women with a mission to ensure a Condolence Book for every family of every fallen Marine.
    I have followed the news stories... and have found this young Marine to be such a wonderful example of fortitude and focus. He became head of his household on THE 9/11 because his father was killed in a work related accident. He took that duty very seriously. He lost his fiance less than a year before his own death when she was killed in a car accident while attending her own mother's funeral in Mexico.
    I wonder if his own losses of loved ones was what made him SO ADAMANT to care for "his" Marines the way he did... at such personal risk... not in a foolish way, but in the way of a man with true Sight.
    I read once that a family member expected that her brother would soon be forgotten. I can say, Good Lord I hope not. I tell his story every chance I get. I homeschool my children... and they hear about him... and I would hope that every school teacher in America would learn about this man and teach their students what becoming an American is all about.
    Sgt. Peralta seemed to grasp that. He seemed to know what he was fighting for. LOVE.
    ~ With warmth and respect for Sgt. Peralta... MY American Hero.
    Mrs. Laura Temple
    Semper Fi Mater of 2 Marines

    "No Greater Love hath he than to lay down his life for his friends."

  12. #13
    Salvador Arellano said on February 9, 2005 | Reply

    I was also a friend of Rafael. I met him during the summer of 97. I had just completed my enlistment in the US Navy that January and moved back to San Diego to begin my studies at San Diego City College. That summer I decided to take a soccer class to pass the time and would meet him on the soccer field when he approached me and asked if I would be interested in playing in one of the local soccer leagues. I was surprised, to say the least, because it was my first formal soccer class I had taken and not very skilled. Now that I look back and think about it, I sincerely believe it had more to do with his character than my soccer skills that he approached me and asked me to play with the league team. That was just the way "Pony," as we called him, was.

    Fast forward to now... From the time we left the last soccer game of that season I never lost contact with Rafael. I remember one day passing each other on the road and actually turning around and stopping our cars on the side of the road next to the MCRD and talking because we hadn't seen each other in a while. I also remember last speaking to Rafael at the local barber shop in Golden Hills (San Diego) that I continue to go to to this day - ironically that is where I learned of his passing.

    I still on ocassion talk to the guys that played on that soccer team that season. For a number of them I was the one that broke the sad news that we had lost a friend. We talked about how our team, Aztlan, won the league championships that season... We talked about how, as team captain, he led us to that victory... We remembered how, before each game, he would take a knee and consult with his higher power... We talked about how much we miss him... We talk about how we can't forget him.

    I now have a son who is 4 years old that knows Rafaels name. Although he doesn't know Rafael personally he knows that he is a hero. When he asks why, I tell him that he sacrificed himself for others. I've taken him to his burial place so that he recognizes where our true heros are laid to rest. He may not understand yet but when he does he will have a clear picture of and a person to look up to - his name will be Rafael Peralta. On ocassion he randomly wispers to me, "Daddy, Rafael is a hero...", and he winks his eye. The only thing I can respond with is, "Yes, he truly is."

    Semper Fi old friend... You will not be forgotten.

    I almost forgot why I posted but I have a picture of the team that season and would be honored to let others see my friend as I knew him. Please let me know where I can e-mail it.

    Salvador Arellano

  13. #14
    Jennifer said on February 10, 2005 | Reply

    God bless this Marine and his family...hero doesn't even begin to define this man.

  14. #15
    Bernie Hernandez said on February 10, 2005 | Reply

    With great respect to this Marine, he is what Marines are made of "Semper Fi", and deserves the Medal Of Honor, he is an American Hero that everyone should hear about. I served in Viet Nam so I can relate. My sympthies to the Saldivar family.
    Rest In Peace My Brother.

  15. #16
    Kenneth Wood said on February 11, 2005 | Reply

    My sympthies to the Saldivar family for they also paid a very high price. The pride they must feel hopefully offsets to some extent the pain of their loss. The respect deserved by this man cannot be measured. Know that he will never be forgotten by those who trully count.

    "Semper Fi". Viet Nam 69.

  16. Last Spring I read "The Badge of Honour" where there is an excerpt of Bradley's book. Very worth a book. Such a naturally born "Sprit de Corps"!
    Rafael Peralta death and what little insight is left of his life, is compelling. When I studied with the Jesuit fathers, a saying of Saint Ignatius stuck: "Words may move, deeds draft you."
    I have thought about this gallant and noble inmigrant -as American as anyone can get to be- since I read your story.
    It might be of interest that the most known bullfighting horseman of our country hold his same name, Don Rafael Peralta.
    One just can guess what he could have lived if he had not dared to go through that door first. I offer little but I'll remember him and tell my little daughter of this man.
    Regards to his family,
    Ignacio Wenley Palacios.
    Spain.

  17. #18
    sweetgina24 said on February 15, 2005 | Reply

    I also had the provilege of knowing Rafael, he was a brave man, a great friend, that cared about everyone else. Last time I saw him was back in June and he came over to San Diego and heard from him until October which is when he left to Iraq. He was always in my thougts and prayers, before he left he gave me some things he got for me in Hawaii, I was very happy. He was making so many plans, but at the same time he would tell me that he was getting ready to leave and not come back. I'm miss him and I admire what he did for everyone. I know God has him in a better place, and in my heart he will always be. My sympathy for his family and everyone that knew him and cared about him. I also have a few pictures he used to send me while he was in Hawaii also a special picture of me and him. God Bless and always remember him as a HERO.

  18. #19
    Joe said on February 17, 2005 | Reply

    All I can say is that Sgt Peralta is the reason that we have the motto of Semper Fidelis! "Always Faithful" he was faithful to his Marines and to his country. He knew what it meant to be a leader, and when leading, the life of those who serve under you, is what's important.

    Semper Fi!

    Respectfully,
    Sergeant Joe M. Reynoso USMC

  19. #20
    Greg Gardner said on February 24, 2005 | Reply

    If the youth of America needs a hero or an American to look up to, here he is...Semper Fi Marine, Semper Fi...

    United States Marine Corps 1968--1980...

  20. #21
    Ronnie Cook said on March 1, 2005 | Reply

    I knew Rafa personaly and grew up with him. That's what we called him growing up "Rafa". He was one of my brothers best friends. He was also my mothers good friends godson. So naturally we all became good friends.

    Even though I hadn't spoken to Rafa since he left for Hawaii, I still consider him a true friend.

    Rafa struggled as a kid as do we all to figure out who he was. But he eventually found his true niche. He was a MARINE, and American Hero. He was right with GOD when he left this earth so I can proudly say: I'll see you in heaven when I get there Rafa.

  21. #22
    Swift&silent said on March 2, 2005 | Reply

    Semper Fi Devildog

    You lived and died with honor

  22. #23
    heather said on March 6, 2005 | Reply

    Godspeed to a man who i personally knew and touched my life may he never be forgotten for me he wont ever be...tu eres mi inspiracion Junior

  23. #24
    Fernando Molina said on March 8, 2005 | Reply

    I remember Rafa, he was a kid that everyone liked because he had a certain personality that was unique and at the same so new to us as kids. To hear of his death was shocking because it had been so long since i'd seen him. He was a good kid and he deserves to be called a HERO for what he did. You will be missed Rafa by all of us back home and around the world.
    God bless you and let me in when i knock on heavens door!

  24. #25
    Stehpen Sheldon said on March 21, 2005 | Reply

    Rafael Peralta


    You woke yourself for that day of battle,
    Not knowing what would become of your day,
    Herded your brothers as if they were cattle,
    Your heart skipped beats as you began to pray.

    Wondering what your future could bring,
    You fought for the country that held you so free,
    Your family in heart as your soul shall sing,
    Everything in mind but not to flee,

    Protecting the lives you held close in time,
    You would do the best that a Marine can,
    As a leader you planned to walk that key line,
    Hoping to be a good example of man,

    The third Marine regiment embraced you,
    With tough love and intense training,
    You are chosen among the prized few,
    Sick for home your heart was raining,

    To combat you took your peers to keep,
    Life and living we marched with fear,
    We were taught we live what we reap,
    Seeing in thine enemies eyes a tear,

    You took your brothers place with death,
    As only some of them could have,
    Approaching the door with consent and stress,
    Plunging inside as a leader would have,

    Those three lead death angels flew into you,
    Without remorse you lay in dirt content,
    You saved the lives of Marines so few,
    And opened the door for others in event,

    As you laid in near unconscious agony,
    That pill of infinite ending roles in,
    Pulling unto your soul you kept U.S. free,
    The pain now is held with your kin,

    Rafael, heaven restores you in life,
    As your brethren carry you out,
    As your medals were sent with strife,
    Hoo-rah the band of brothers shout,


    Continuing the journey your platoon,
    Following our leader as his soul leads,
    Around every corner we hear a boom,
    Knowing you would’ve never thought to leave,

    Pushing for our goal we kept you in mind,
    We took time to reflect on what’s gone by,
    Remembering the loss the day you died,
    Knowing nothings sublime, we know you fly,

    We must overcome, matter what the cost,
    You gave us your rest and it was enough,
    You overcame, and life was your loss,
    Sacrificing as if you would try to slough,

    Home you came covered and dressed,
    Your story lives forever in our homes,
    Passed to generations held and blessed,
    You will always be the center of foams,

    Keeping your promise to your leaders,
    You fought with outstanding grace,
    For the people, constant readers,
    An everlasting image of your face,

    Standing among the brave, Rafael Peralta,
    Protecting who are free, Rafael Peralta
    Sacrificing life for many, Rafael Peralta,
    Who’s history is eternal, Rafael Peralta.


    I wrote this for Rafaels' family and fellow Marines..

    Stephen Sheldon

  25. #26
    brenda and eduardo said on April 10, 2005 | Reply

    Well Rafa dont think we forgot we celebrated you birthday and we felt you just as close as the last time we were together. Happy Birthday and God may keep you close to him as well.

  26. #27
    heather said on April 11, 2005 | Reply

    i loved that poem and months later im still trying to move on from the loss of such a wonderful man

  27. #28
    Cindy said on April 14, 2005 | Reply

    What can I say...I know that you know that that not being able to see you or hear your voice telling me that everything is going to be o.k has been very hard. I MISS U! To me you were what held me up and now that I dont have you im struggling to do things on my own. But I do promise, that im never going to forget you and that i'm going to reach the goals that you were always excitied to hear about. Thank You for never doubting of me...I can't find the words to tell you how much u mean and will always mean to me. I can't say that im really happy to be able to see that people see you as a hero, but i know that in heaven your proud of being a U.S MARINE and are happy to see that to everyone you are our HERO. I LOVE U AND MISS U RAFITA!

  28. #29
    Ricardo Peralta (SGT. PERALTA'S BROTHER) said on May 26, 2005 | Reply

    Thank you all for not forgetting about my brother, it really means a lot to me, my family, and him. To me he is still alive, i hung his uniform in my closet waiting for for to get back to work, I know he's alive because of all you who talk, think and knew him. I am very proud of him, he's my hero, These past 6 months have not been easy, I've been dreaming about him alot i dream that he comes home with his uniform nice and ironed like always and says that his death was a mistake, i laugh and welcome him back but then i wake up and (it's an unexplainable feeling) im just so dissapointed. As i get ready for school I gaze at his uniform and think about him, its not easy. his platoon arrived a couple of weeks ago in hawaii, i wondered how things would of been if he had not opened that door, he would of given us that smile, we would go back to California, have lunch, and at night he would of gone to mexico to party with his friends, on Nov. 7 a week before his death he wrote me a letter he said " if anything happens to me just remember that I already lived my life to the fullest and i am happy with what i lived" " if your lonely just think in god and that some day we will all be together again" I hope so and brother you better be waiting for me because im coming as soon as some people think ONLY YOU KNOW

  29. #30
    Eric "Swede" Swenson said on May 30, 2005 | Reply

    Dear Ricardo,

    I'm 43-years-old with a wife and six kids. My kids are young...too young to serve as your brother did. In our family we honor those who have given their lives to secure our happiness. Today we honor your brother, Rafael Peralta.

    But more than that, we honor you Ricardo, your sister Karen, and all of your family. One thing I do know for sure; it's extremely difficult to be the loved one left behind.

    What your family has given for my family and our nation is far more that we ever have the right to ask. I know you didn't have much choice in the matter. If you had, Rafael would be with you today.

    Today we will set a place for Rafael at our table. We will tell our children of his faithfulness and his sacrifice.

    We will tell them of your sacrifice and pray to God for your comfort and strength, and for all of your family today.

  30. #31
    susan said on May 30, 2005 | Reply

    America is blessed to have such honored heroes as Sgt. Rafael Peralta and his family. I am eternally grateful for showing me what it means to truly love and respect our indomintable American spirit.

    My tears flow in joy knowing I belong to a nation filled with such noble Americans.

    God Bless America

    NYC, NY

  31. #32
    fellow Sgt said on June 27, 2005 | Reply

    I also had the great honor to work with this awsome Marine. We both where at Mcrdsd H&S BN. Peralta was always happy helping everyone in need. Rafa you well be missed my fellow Sgt. Sgt Peralta will now go down in Marine Corps history as one of the greatest heros. I had the the honor also to see this great Marine lay to rest SEMPER FI DEVIL DOG. You WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN RAFA
    thanks for the good times. To the Peralta family Rafa will never be forgotten. in memory of a great Mexican who gave his life for this great country we call USA you well never be forgotten.


    Sgt C

  32. #33
    dennise said on August 4, 2005 | Reply

    my brother was one of sgt. peralta's good friend and he would always come to my house i remember he was a good guy i remember the day of my birthday which was may 5 like we all know 5 de mayo he came to my house with a big red truck and a really big really big mexican flag hanging on the back that he had just bought when he was crossing the border and we all left to downtown and he was just crusing showing his mexican pride. just wanted to say how much we miss you and well never forget you love always the haro family ramon, dennise, addy, sam, mom & dad

  33. #34
    Saldivar Family said on August 11, 2005 | Reply

    Rafa,
    Well will always miss you . Its been 9 months already since you left us. We still remember you had alot of plans for Jr's birthday party. But you just could not be here in person to celebrate mijo's 1st birthday, but he will remember you by pictures and the video we have of your birthday 2 yrs ago. We miss you alot and always remember all the crazy things we wnt through. We are still in touch with your family just like you would of liked. Thanks for everything you did, ut I know for a fact that we rather have you here with us today. I still remember when you wanted to feel my stomach when I was pregnant and JR kicked you and you said that he had to be a Soccer player. And we will put him in a Soccer team . We miss you . Take care and receive huggs and kisses from your friends who miss you . Sanchez, Torrez, Chavo, Lopez, Zamora, Rodriguez, Guyzik, Walito, AND myself.And all the frineds you left behind in HAWAII. Aloha from your fellow Marines in Hawaii

  34. #35
    SPC. MUNOZ ALEXANDER said on August 30, 2005 | Reply

    I am not a Marine but I know the sacrifice one makes when joining the service, cause I am currently in the Army and have been in for 6 years. I recently have had a younger brother of mine join the ranks of the Marines and he is now over seas, am I worried for him, of course but I also know he joined tryn to do his part for his raza, because the ranks of all services is not made up of the kids of rich people, but of the kids of hard working and poor families. I have been over seas twice and God has seen fit to bring me home but many have not been so lucky so lets not mourn the dead but celebrate their lives and what they stood for. Thank for listening.
    [edited to remove all caps]

  35. #36
    Rosa Peralta said on September 9, 2005 | Reply

    I am Sgt. Rafael Peralta's mother, i thank every person thats been with us in this hard time and i also thank everyone that talks well about him and those who knew him, for everyone that send us cards and for those who support us. For those mothers who losts their sons this pain many feel i think there is no words to explain this but i think there should be a place to talk about it, i would like to talk to you to support each other well im a lonely person, i have no friends thats why its been really hard for me and for my 3 other kids. Once again thank you for remembering my son and i hope that you never forget him, (rickp_14@yahoo.com) if you would like to talk to me i would love to hear you

  36. #37
    Don said on September 9, 2005 | Reply

    Dear Ms. Peralta,

    Words cannot express the gratitude and debt that I, my family and our country owe to you and your family. I have an almost 2 year old son and I cannot begin to conceive of the grief that would come with his loss. I assure you, all across the country, people you will never know, every day, remember your son...a true hero. I can only hope that I can raise my own son to be as brave, selfless and as strong a man as Rafael. As my son grows up, I will tell him about Sgt. Peralta and and how he showed what it means to be a leader, a patriot, and a man.

    Your family is in all of our thoughts and prayers. I wish you all the best.

  37. #38
    Ronnie Cook said on October 6, 2005 | Reply

    My family and I were sitting around having a "Carne Asada" tonight, and we remembered you tonight Rafa. I remember when I told my brother Eric what had happened and how you became the only hero that I new personaly. He was in Army bootcamp at the time. I was worried that this might question his decision to join the Army, but it didn't. I know it hurt to hear one of his best friends was gone because he didn't believe me at first then we had a very long silence before he said anything back to me on the phone. We miss you Raffa and you were a good friend when we grew up. You really are the only hero that I know personaly.

  38. #39
    Gregg said on November 9, 2005 | Reply

    On the eve of our Corps Birthday, Semper Fi brother and your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

  39. TH0SE PICTURES BRING TEARS T0 MY EYES...THANK Y0U F0R TH0SE PICTURES..THATS H0W I REMEMBE MY C0USIN..ALWAYS HAVIN FUN.. I REGRET..BEING S0 FAR FR0M HIS FAMILY...TH0SE TW0 YEARS HE LIVED WITH US I WISH I C0ULD REMEMBER BECAUSE THE M0ST RECENT MEM0RY 0F HIM IS LAYIN THERE IN THAT CASKET..AND THAT ISNT THE WAY I WANT T0 REMEMBER HIM..BECAUSE THAT WASNT HIM...I L0VE AND MISS HIM S0 MUCH...BUT I KN0W HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME..EVERYWHERE I G0 HE WILL BE THERE T00...TIA R0SA I L0VE Y0U S0 MUCH KAREN,RICARD0.. I L0VE Y0U TW0 S0 MUCH...

  40. #41
    gina said on November 14, 2005 | Reply

    It's been a year since he is gone and I still remember talking and listening to his plans telling about his plans. I can't believe it. I MISS HIM. God bLess his family you guys are in my prayers. I'll always remember him.

  41. #42
    Salvador Arellano said on November 15, 2005 | Reply

    I can't believe it's been one year. You're sacrafice has not been forgotten.

  42. #43
    Cindy said on November 15, 2005 | Reply

    Well.....this isn't easy....1 year since we lost you.There is not one day that goes by with out thinking about you. Through out this year a lot has been happening to me, but it's also been a year of hoping that this was all a dream....hoping that I was going to get to see you come back and that all the plans that you had made before leaving and while you were in Iraq were going to get done...It hurts to know that your not around physically anymore, but I get happy when I know that spiritually you're watching over all of us who in some way or another were a part of you. Today were not remembering the death of any person, but were remembering the life of a hero, whom god placed among us...even though the time that we had you here was very short for all of us...im pretty sure that for you they were 25 great years. I still remeber how happy you were when you first joined the Marines! There was a lot of great moments that now I can only keep in my mind and in my heart. I remember the tough Rafa, whom nobody messed with and all the respect that people had for you, but I also remember the funny, loving, caring, generous, hard working and partying Rafa...the one with a big heart that nobody can ever forget....Thanks You for being there for me all those years...and I thank god for them tooo..... I MISS U BABE! R.I.P...See You Later.

  43. #44
    Brenda & Eduardo Saldivar said on November 16, 2005 | Reply

    Rafa,
    It's been one yr since you left us. We still all remember that great person you were. I thank God for given me the opportunity of meeting a great person like you. You are not just remebered as a Hero but as a great son, brother, uncle, and a great friend. Thank yoi for everything you did for us we will always remeber you. Walito will always hear stories of you we promise you that and you know we still have that big lolly pop you brought his back from Cali. Thank you. God bless you and keep you close to him always. We miss you and love you RAFA.

  44. #45
    Doc Underwood said on January 13, 2006 | Reply

    Peralta was my roomate for quite awhile when he first arrived in k-bay. We also went through ISLC together that next spring. He had so many "homies" in his secretary, and he would always get mad when I'd want to play with them. When I got back from leave in January '04, he wasn't in the room, so I thought it would be funny to set ALL of his homies on his bed. When he walked in the room, he laughed, punched me in the chest when he saw his bed and said "that's exactly what I needed." I didn't know until minutes later that he was in cali for his finance`s funeral. When we were packing for our deployment, I remembered that after i moved out of his room, I left an "outkast" cd in his 100 disc changer, so I went to his room to go get it. He was in the process of packing and he handed me a "homie." After talking and catching up for awhile I left, with my new homie in hand, and totally forgot about the cd.

    I can't describe the feeling i felt when I found out he had gone down. I MISS YOU BRO!!!

  45. #46
    Matt Jones said on March 9, 2006 | Reply

    My son (Corporal Nicholas Jones) was one of the Marines in the room that day with Sgt Peralta. The actions of Sgt Peralta probably saved his life. I will forever be grateful for Sgt Peralta. My thanks and prayers are with his family and friends always.

  46. #47
    Felton Green said on March 18, 2006 | Reply

    Soft winds blowing across a mountain top flag
    during World War II,
    highlight those who struggle to hoist for all to see
    reminded me of freedoms beacon
    within their souls

    allowing those here the slumber of the protected

    The beacon shines brighter now

    calling

    those who chose to hear the call

    moreover, the terrible price paid now on foreign shores

    Willingly answered

    to be escorted home upon caissons resting for eternity

    Honored now by those who remember
    Honored by those protected
    Honored by those who stood by their side
    Honored by those who also fell in battles past
    Welcomed into the shade cast by the Tree of Liberty

    Felton Green SCPO (SW) USN Retired

  47. #48
    mike said on April 27, 2006 | Reply

    God Bless my SGT of Marines Peralta. He is a MOH winner if I ever heard of one. Can I help?
    mike

  48. #49
    Tia said on May 10, 2006 | Reply

    I just want to say Thank You and God Bless to Sgt Peralta and his family. Sgt Peralta is everything an American is about and more then a Hero he gave his life for his friends. I think this world and this Country was very Blessed to have him here with us while he was. He has touched many lives even some who never knew him personally. take care and God Bless those who serve, those he knew, those he saved, his family, friends, and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Thank you for all you did and for those serving for all you do.

  49. #50
    Nancy said on May 11, 2006 | Reply

    You had a wonderful son. A son to be so very proud of. I also know as a mom that you have to be hurting every day in your heart, that you have lost your son. Thank You for raising such a son that you did, to feel that strong for his new counry. Thank God we have men like your son to defend our country so that we can live in a free country. I am so proud of your family, and some day we will all be together with your son. Enjoy every minute you have with the rest of your family.

  50. What an amazing human! We are so blessed to have such wonderful young people protecting us in these crazy times. I posted a picture and excerpt from your story on my blog. It was in response to someone else who had commented on a previous post about Sgt Peralta. So, he is remembered and admired by many, many people.

  51. #52
    TexasFred said on June 15, 2006 | Reply

    In the tradition of courage, bravery and valor, a US Marine assures his 'hitch' in Heaven... He already did his time in HELL...

    This is one awesome story, I have chill bumps right now as I type this..

    Semper Fidelis Marine... YOU did it right Bro...

    This act of unselfish sacrifice embodies the TRUE spirit of the United States Marine Corps and it's members...

  52. #53
    EDUARDO SALDIVAR LOPEZ said on July 5, 2006 | Reply

    HELLO EVERYONE IM ONE OF MANY FRIENDS PERALTA HAD IN HAWAII, IM AM THE GUY NEXT TO HIM IN THE PICTURE ON TOP. ITS BEEN A WHILE SINCE I WROTE HERE, I WAS CHECKING OUT MY PICS AND I SAW SOME WITH PERALTA IN THEM SO I CAME TO THIS WEB SITE I AM AMAZED BY ALL THIS PEOPLE WHO TAKE A LIL BIT OF TIME TO REMEMBER A HERO AND FRIEND, I STILL MISS PERALTA LIKE IF IT WAS YESTERDAY I COULD SAY EVERYWHERE I GO I CARRY A STORY ABOUT WHAT I KNEW ABOUT HIM AND SAY IT OUT LOUD, HUH AND EVERY TIME I GET DRUNK I SING THAT CHENTE SONG (LA MISMA) JUST LIKE WHEN HE WAS PARTYING WITH ME ONLY THAT THIS TIME I CANT FINISH THE SONG CAUSE A BIG KNOT GETS ON THE WAY JUST LIKE NOW AS I WRITE ABOUT HIM PERALTA WAS A MAN TO ADMIRE HE WAS SO MATURE I COULD TALK WITH PERALTA FOREVER AND NEVER LOSE THAT RESPECT WE HAD FOR EACH OTHER , I REMEMBER WHEN I MET HIM WE WERE HAVING A PFT AND OLD FRIEND AND ALSO AGOOD FRIEND OF PERALT CAME UP AND INTRODUSED HIM TO ALLTHE MEXICANS IN 2ND PLATOON WE SHOK HIS HAND LIKE IF WEVE KNOWN HIM FOREVER HE THEN BECAME A PART OF THE GROUP THAT WOULD ALWAYS CHILL TOGETHER, I INVITED HIM FOR DINNER AT MY PLACE MY WIFE BRENDA WAS COOKING FOR US THATS WHEN HE STARTED TALKING ABOUT HIS PLANS, HE TALKED ABOUT HIS FIANCE THAT SHE WAS CLOSE TO COME VISIT HIM IN HAWAII AND THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO GET TOGETHER WHEN SHE ARRIVED AND HAVE A BIGDINNER TOGETHER THAT BOTH MY WIFE AND HER WOULD DO THE COOKING CAUSE THEY BOTH NEW ABOUT SOME REAL COOKING,I SAW THE EXPRESSIONS IN HIS FACE AS HE TALKED ABOUT HIS LOVED ONE, THEY WERE GOING TO GET MARRIED IN HAWAII AND YOULL BE HERE AND YOU DO THIS AND FUN HERE AND FUN THERE WOW HE WAS SO EXCITED, DAYS LATER I HEAR FROM PERALTA SAYING PLANS HAD CHANGE THAT HIS FIANCE HAD TO GO BACK BECAUSE HER MOTHER PASSED AWAY,I FELT SO BAD CAUSE HE WAS SO DISSAPOINTED THAT HE WOULDNT BE ABLE TO MAKE IT TO THE FUNERAL AND ALSO BECAUSE HE DIDNT GET TO MARRY AS PLANNED. LATER ON I HEAR FROM HIM BUT THIS TIME HE WAS CYING I WAS LIKE WHAT HAPPENED THATS WHEN I DROPPED IN SILENCE I DIDNT KNOW WHAT TO SAY, HIS FIANCE HAD PAST AWAY TOO I SAID I WAS SORRY, BUT DIDNT HAVE THE ANSWER TO HIS QUESTION; WHY? WHY DID ALL THIS HAPPEN TO HIM HE ASKED. I THINK IT WAS A LITTLE WHILE AFTER THAT WHEN I SAW HIM AGAIN WE WERE HAVING A COOKOUT AT THE BEACH WE PLAYED SOCCER AND HAD SOME BEERS FOR A WHILE HE THEN TOOL ME TO THE SIDE AND CRIED ABOUT HIS FIANCE , WALO I HAD A LOT OF PLANS WHITH MY FIANCE HOW COULD SUCH A THING HAPPEN TO A PERSON HE SAID, I JUST LISTENED HE THEN SAID THAT THEY WERE PRETTY CLOSE TO DEPLOYING FOR IRAQ AND THAT HE PROBABLY WOULDNT MAKE IT BACK I TALKED TO HIM ABOUT IT JUST TOLD HIM TO GO DO HIS JOB AND COME BACK THAT MANY OF HIS FRIENDS WANTED TO SEE HIM AGAIN AND THAT HE HAD FAMILY THAT WOULD SUFFER EMOTIONALY IF HE WOULDNT COME BACK I REACHED AND HANDED HIM A ROSARY ID BOUGHT FOR HIM IN MATAMOROS MEXICO I HUGED HIM CRIED WITH HIM AND TOLD HIM TO PLEASE MAKE IT BACK THAT MY WIFE AND I WOULD PRAY FOR HIM ALL THE TIME TILL HE CAME BACK , BEFORE HIM LEAVING WE ALL HAD A PARTY AT THE SAVAGE'S HOME SANDY AND STEVE THATS WHERE WE TOOK THAT HANG LOOSE PICTURE OF HIM WITH A GLASS OF BUCHAUNANS IN HIS HAND, BOY DID WE HAVE A BLAST OR WHAT HOMMIE! WE MADE A BUNCH OF PLANS FOR WHEN HE CAME BACK WE PLANNED MY LIL BOYS BIRTHDAY PARTY AND TRAVELING TOGETHER AND A WHOLE LOT OF GOOD STUFF WE TALKED LIKE IT WAS TOMMOROW WHEN HE WAS COMING BACK AFTER A WHILE IN THE PARTY WE GOT SAD AGAIN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS FIANCE, HE ALSO MENTIONED SOMETHIN ABOUT A DREAM HE HAD ABOUT HER, IN HIS DREAM WAS HER TALKING TO HIM SAYING THAT SHE WOULD TAKE CARE OF HIM AND THAT THEY WERE SO CLOSE TO BEING TOGETHER AGAIN AND FOREVER, HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT HIS MOM HAD A SIMILAR DREAM ONLY THAT HIS FIANCE TOLD HIS MOM NOT TO WORRY ABOUT HIM THAT SHE WOULD TAKE GREAT CARE OF HIM WHEN HE JOINED HER IN HEAVEN SUPERSTITIOUS NO I DONT THINK SO TO ME THATS DESTINY, TOO BAD WE CANT CHANGE THAT AND THE WAY HE TALKED ABOUT IT IS LIKE HE KNEW SOMETHING WAS FOR SURE GOIN TO HAPPEN TO HIM DAY BY DAY HE LIVED AND KNEW SOMETHING WAS BRINGING HIM CLOSE TO HIS LOVED ONE WE JUST DINDNT WANT TO ACCEPT IT WE WANTED HIM TO COME BACK, AFTER THAT PARTY DELOYMENT FOR 1/3 WAS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER WE GOT TO GO TO BAY FEST TOGETHER AFTER ALL THAT HE DEPLOYED THATS THE PICTURE OF HIM IN CAMOFLAUGE UNIFORM WITH MY WIFE AND I. WE SPOKE A COUPLE OF TIMES BY PHONE BUT WE KEPT IN TOUCH BY EMAIL HE MET MY SON EDUARDO SALDIVAR JR (SCRAPPY) LIKE HE CALLED HIM, BY WEBCAM HE WAS SO HAPPY WHEN HE SAW HIM HE HAD A BIG SMILE I COULD SEE THE MOTIVATION ON HIS FACE HE WAVED HIS RIFFLE AND WROTE, IM GONNA GET SOME AND ILL GET SOME FOR YOU TOO THATS THE LAST TIME I COMMUNICATED WITH IT WAS TILL NOVEMBER WHEN I HEARD MY WIFE CRYING TELLING ME THAT RAFA HAD PAST AWAY I DIDNT WANNA BELIEVE IT MANY FRIENDS CALLED THAT SAME DAY TOO TEARS AND SADNESS TOOK OVER MY WIFE AND I ,WE BOUGHT A PLANE TICKET THAT SAME DAY AND WENT TO CALIFORNIA TO MEET WITH PERALTA'S FAMILY I FELT SO BAD WATCHIG HIS FAMILY CRY OUT LOUD ASKING ME WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE HIM I HAD NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE MY SYMPATHY I JUST HUGGED HIS MOM AND TOLD HER I WAS SORRY WE TALKED TO HIS BROTHER SISTER AND UNCLES IN THE HOUSE WE COULDNT TALK TO HIS MOM SHE WAS SO HURT FULL OF TEARS, WORST FEELING TO SEE HIS MOTHER CRY. I SAW HIM AT THE FUNERAL FOR THE LAST TIME LIYING ON THAT CASKET WITH HIS FULL DRESS UNIFORM I HELD HIS HAND AND WISHED HIM REST AND PEACE IN HEVEAN BROTHER GOT ON MY FLIGHT AND WENT BACK HOME IN HAWAII THAT SAME NIGHT I HAD A DREAM OF PERALTA THANKING ME FOR GOIN TO SEE HIS MOM AND FAMILY HE TOLD ME NOT TO BE SAD THAT HE WAS DOING GOOD HE WAS IN A BETTER PLACE FULL OF PEACE HE ALSO SAID ITS NOT HOW YOU THINK IT IS WE DONT SUFFER AT ALL HERE SO DONT U GUYS CRY FOR ME NO MORE BUT IT IS SO HARD NOT TO CRY FOR A LOVED ONE WHEN THEY ARE GONE ,TILL THIS DAY I STILL CRY YOUR ABSENCE FRIEND WE MISS U A LOT NO I WILL NEVER STOP MISSING U AND I WILL ALWAYS SPREAD YOUR STORY THE STORY OF HERO AND MY TRUE FRIEND I WILL FOREVER REMENBER U PEACE BE WITH U BRO SEE U LATER.

  53. #54
    ROBERT REYNOLDS said on August 1, 2006 | Reply

    I WAS ONE OF THE MARINES WITH HIM THAT DAY I OWE HIM A LOT I DO NOT GO A SINGLE DAY WITH OUT THINKING OF HIM AND FOR WHAT HE DID FOR ALL OF US THAT DAY I WAS RIGHT BEHIND HIM WHEN WE WENT INTO THAT HOUSE. MY DEEPEST CONDULANCES GO OUT HIS FAMILY
    SEMPER FI BROTHER YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN WHEN MY 2 CHILDERN GET OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HE DID I WILL TELL THEM OF THE GREAT SGT P.

  54. #55
    Allison Wurthmann said on August 2, 2006 | Reply

    Hi,
    We would love to be in touch with the author of this website.
    We are working on a film for the History channel honoring the valor of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If anyone would like to contribute their stories of friendship, video footage or pictures to the film, please contact me at:

    212.210.1400, ext. 5343
    or email me at:
    Allison.Wurthmann@aetn.com

  55. #56
    Don said on August 2, 2006 | Reply

    I was contacted today by a representative of the History Channel who is doing research for an upcoming one hour documentary honoring the valor of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Filming is expected to start in a few week with airing an unknown time thereafter.

    I was contacted because of the terrific response I've had to one of my posts about Sgt. Rafael Peralta. I exchanged a dozen emails and had a half-hour telephone conversation with the representative and was able to supply her with quite a bit of information she did not have previously.

    The representative agreed to let me post her name and contact information so that any friends or family members of Sgt. Peralta could contact her. If you knew Sgt. Peralta before he gave his life for our country and you are reading this during the month of August 2006 and you would like to contribute video footage, pictures or stories to the documentary, please contact:

    Allison Wurthmann
    (212) 210-1400, ext. 5343
    Allison.Wurthmann-at-aetn.com

  56. #57
    Salvador Arellano said on August 23, 2006 | Reply

    Hey Don-

    I was contacted by A&E and contributed what I could to Rafael's story. I hope it will allow others to see who Rafael was.

    Also, I don't know if this is posted anywhere else but the combat correspondent who brought to us Rafael's story of heroism was killed in a vehicle accident.

    Salvador Arellano

    Links to the story.
    http://www.marinetimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2017392.php

    http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=152037&srvc=home

    http://www.tauntongazette.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17035476&BRD=1711&PAG=461&dept_id=24232&rfi=6

  57. #58
    Brad said on August 27, 2006 | Reply

    It seems like just yesterday we were in Fallujah. I'll never forget that day having to carry you out of that house. It was my first time to carry a HERO! I'll never forget that day or your sacrifice. God Bless you and your family. I'm counting the days until you recieve your Medal of Honor.

  58. #59
    Sgt. Stephen Lara said on September 28, 2006 | Reply

    Good day to the Peralta Family,

    I am Sgt. Stephen P.Lara, currently serving with 1st Battalion, 3d Marines in Marine Corps Base, Hawaii. I was stationed with this brave man while serving at MCRD, San Diego and was a very good friend of his. I never got the opportunity to send my condolences to your family as I was present the day of his burial, but felt as though I owed it to him to let you know that he was a fine man. I keep an enlarged framed picture that was given to me by fellow Marines, as I proudly keep it hanging in my living room, anyone who visits leaves knowing what a hero this man is and that he has sacrificed his life for the love of his fellow Marines as well as the United States of America. I think about him quite often whether it was the times that we were at the rifle range together or the last time I saw and spoke to him often talking about drinking a beer with him upon my arrival in Hawaii.... Although I never got the chance, I am sure it would have been great to have had that experience with him. I want you to not be sad, although I know it may be hard, I assure you this Devil Dawg will never be forgotten and his name will live forever in the hearts of many, especially the lives he saved that faitfull day. As I have said before this was a "Marines Marine", a natural born leader and a true friend.

    May God bless you and your family, for the PERALTA name will never go unheard and may this hero live in everyone's hearts and mind forever. He lived his life well and went a happy man I assure you, as I know he is with Jesus now... May we meet again my friend, I salute you and everything you stand for...

    God Bless You Ms. Peralta and your family, your son has made all of us proud! Thank you for your time, and have a great day maam.

    Sgt Stephen P. Lara
    1st Battalion, 3d Marines

  59. #60
    eddie said on October 19, 2006 | Reply

    I have a picture of Peralta and I. How can I post it on here?

  60. #61
    John said on February 13, 2007 | Reply

    Thx very good story and nice site.

  61. #62
    Sgt Nicholas Jones said on February 16, 2007 | Reply

    MY NAME IS SGT NICHOLAS JONES. I WAS THE SQUAD LEADER WITH RAPHAEL THAT DAY. HE CAME TO ME THE NIGHT BEFORE AND ASKED IF HE COULD TAG ALONG AND HELP US OUT. RAPHAEL OUT RANKED ME, BUT WE HAD BEEN GOOD FRIENDS AND SHARED THE SAME RANK FOR QUITE SOME TIME. I DIDNT BAT AN EYE, I TOLD HIM HE WAS ALWAYS WELCOME WITH US. HE AND I SPENT HIS LAST NIGHT TOGETHER EATING MRE'S AND LAUGHING ABOUT ALL THE GREAT MEXICAN FOOD WE WOULD EAT WHEN WE GOT HOME. I EVEN REMEMBER THE MEAL, WE HAD THE ENCHILADA MRE, AND WE LOADED IT DOWN WITH AS MUCH TAPATIO AS WE COULD HANDLE. IT WAS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER NIGHT, BUT IF I WOULD HAVE KNOWN IT WOULD BE HIS LAST, WE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. HE WAS HAPPY BEING WITH HIS BROTHERS, AND HE WAS A NATURAL LEADER. HE WASNT HAPPY UNLESS WE WERE TRAINING. THAT NEXT DAY WHEN WE WOKE UP, HE ASKED ME AGAIN IF I WANTED HIM TO TAG ALONG, I TOLD HIM THAT HE WAS ALWAYS WELCOME, AND IT WAS UP TO HIM.

    HE DIDNT HAVE TO BE THERE THAT DAY, HE WAS THERE BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BE WITH US. WHEN WE WENT INTO THAT HOUSE, THERE WAS NO HESITATION AT ALL, EVEN WHEN WE SAW THE ENEMY HE WENT RIGHT INTO ACTION. HE WAS A TRUE WARRIOR. EVEN WHEN HE WAS DOWN, HE STILL WASNT OUT, HE STILL HAD SOME FIGHT LEFT IN HIM. ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE, WAS CARRY THE BODY OF A GOOD FRIEND, A GREAT MARINE, AND A TRUE HERO. BUT THAT IS NO COMPARISON TO WHAT HE HAD TO DO. HE SAVED OUR LIVES THAT DAY, AND HE WILL LIVE ON FOR EVER. EVERY DAY THAT I PUT ON MY UNIFORM AND GO BACK TO WORK, I LOOK AT MY PURPLE HEART, AND KNOW EXACTLY WHERE IT CAME FROM, ITS A REMINDER OF WHAT A GOOD FRIEND WILL DO FOR YOU, HE WILL EVEN GIVE HIS OWN LIFE. I HATE THE FACT THAT IM STILL HERE AND HE ISN'T. BUT ALL I CAN DO NOW IS TELL HIS STORY.

    JUNIOR, I MISS YOU BRO, ILL SEE YOU AGAIN ONE DAY, AND IT WILL BE LIKE OLD TIMES AGAIN. TAKE CARE UP THERE, AND HAVE A NICE COLD CORONA WAITING FOR ME WHEN I GET THERE.

    SEMPER FI
    SGT NICHOLAS JONES
    USMC

  62. #63
    gina said on February 24, 2007 | Reply

    What a great hero !!! May he always be remembered forever !!!!

  63. #64
    Brenda and Eduardo Saldivar said on March 14, 2007 | Reply

    Hey Rafael, Well don't thin we forgot you . Its been 2 yrs 5 months and we still miss you the same way as when you left Hawaii July 5th 2004. We will never forget the great person you were. We always tell the people we know great things about yu and we have your picture in our living room and we jsut tell them you are that one hero we will never get out of our hearts, minds memories or our conversations. You will always be remebered in our family. And guess what we had our twins Brenda Adamary and Arturo Rafael and he will always be told why his name is Rafael since we could not name Walito after you we did name our next baby after you. Your mom wa so happy to hear that we named our little one after you. Dont ever forget we love youi and we will never regert anything we ever did for you. And for your birthday Rafa we will also celebrate it as we did that last birthday of yours in my house in Hawaii. Sabes mijo tine esos cachetotes q tu tambien tenias. God bless you always and if you are still wondering around Iraq and keeping an eye over our troops be sure you protect Walo he is on his way to his next deployment to Iraq. And he is wiling to kill as many fucken Iraqies in your name as Fernando Torrez did last year too. Please keep and eye on my husband so he can come back and be with his 3 kids. We miss you and will always remember you.

    Sgt Brenda Ruelas Saldivar
    Cpl Eduardo Saldivarlopez (walo)
    Eduardo Saldivar (walito)
    Arturo Rafael Saldivar
    Brenda Adamary Saldivar

  64. #65
    Don Benthusen said on March 18, 2007 | Reply

    My favoret memory of sgt peralta is at PTA on the big island. He was somewhat new to the plt. and he was trying to spend time with everyone. Trying to get to know everyone in his team. We were doing training and me and him had security together, on some hill and we talked most of the night. I new that night he was a great marine and would always put his men before himself. Thats just who he was.
    I miss him and will always remember him

  65. #66
    George Sabga said on March 20, 2007 | Reply

    To everyone who posted these kind comments on Rafael, I want to thank you very much.

    My name is George Sabga. I am the Peralta family attorney, and I have been taking care of them for over two years.

    I just wanted to let everyone know that the History Channel has completed the documentary on Rafael. It will air nationally May 19, 2007 at 1900 East Coast time.

    Please share Rafael's story with your family and friends.

    S/F
    George

  66. #67
    Cindy said on April 7, 2007 | Reply

    WOW! SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE YOUVE BEEN GONE, AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE HAPPY OR SAD MOMENTS I STILL WISH YOU WERE AROUND TO GIVE ME ADVICE OR JUST BE HERE FOR SUPPORT...BUT REGARDLESS OF THAT I BELIEVE THAT WHERE EVER YOUR AT YOUR STILL GIVING ME THE STRENGTH YOU WOULD GIVE ME WHEN YOU WERE HERE...I DONT KNOW IF YOU KNOW, BUT EVERY NIGHT YOU ARE STILL IN MY PRAYERS...I ASK GOD THAT WHERE EVER YOU ARE HE'S STILL TAKING CARE OF YOU LIKE I USED TO ASK HIM EVERY NIGHT WHEN YOU WERE IN IRAQ.LAST TIME MY MY DAD AND I WERE WATCHING THE THE SOCCER GAME BETWEEN CHIVAS AND AMERICA, AND MY DAD SAID THAT IF YOU WOULDVE BEEN HERE YOU WOULDVE BEEN BETTING HIM LIKE THE LAST TIME WE ALL WATCHED THE GAME WITH YOU. MY MOM AND YURI TOOK YOU FLOWERS ON MY BEHALF TODAY TO YOUR GRAVE, AND I FELT REALLY BAD CAUSE ONCE AGAIN I COULDNT BE THERE ON AN IMPORTANT DAY...BUT FROM HERE I WANTED TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND I HOPE THAT WHERE EVER YOU ARE YOU KNOW THAT I STILL THINK ABOUT YOU, AND STILL WISH THAT I CAN HOLD YOU IN MY ARMS LIKE I USED TO...I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND I MISS YOU LIKE ALWAYS BABY!!!

  67. #68
    brenda and walo said on April 9, 2007 | Reply

    Rafael feliz cumple anos no se nos olvido. Te deseamos todo lo mejor de este mundo te mandamos nuestras bendiciones ahora y siempre. Tambien recibe besos de los ninos de Walito Brenda y Arturo Rafael. Esperamos un dia estar de nuevo festejando tu cumpleanos como el ultimo q tuvistes y te festejamos en mi casa. T e queremos mucho.

    Brenda
    Eduardo (walo)
    walito
    Brenda Adamary
    Y Arturo RAFAEL

  68. #69
    Harry said on April 26, 2007 | Reply

    Sgt. Peralta, rest in peace and may God reserve a special place in heaven for you and men like you. I ride for you bro.

  69. #70
    Matt Ciarpella said on May 5, 2007 | Reply

    Thank you. A real man.

  70. #71
    Reggie Cpl Brown said on May 13, 2007 | Reply

    Well Sgt PERALTA I MISS U SO MUCH I THINK OF U EVERYDAY ILL NEVER FORGET WAT HAPPENED TO US THAT DAY IN THAT HOUSE SOMETIMES I FEEL SO GUILTY BECAUSE I WISH I COULD HAVE DONE MORE BUT THEIR IS NOTHING I CAN DO OR SAY THAT CAN BRING U BACK ONLY THAT I LOVE AND MISS U

  71. #72
    Sgt Johnny J. Alvarez said on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    I am a U. S. Marine that just got back from Iraq. It is great men like this Sergeant, that makes the rank of Sergeant stand out the most in any service. This web page is awesome and may we keep it going in loving memory of Sgt Peralta!
    Viva la Raza.
    SEMPER FIDELIS!!!
    Sgt ALVAREZ, JOHNNY J.

  72. #73
    Paul Paduano said on May 19, 2007 | Reply

    Thank you Rafael, a real hero. God Bless his family.

  73. #74
    jose luis rodriguez said on May 20, 2007 | Reply

    I watched your stoty told on the History Channel. You are an example of bravery and honor for the youth of our country. I thank you for your sacrifice and love for your fellow Marines. As an old soldier who served his adopted country long ago, I salute you.

  74. #75
    Victor Diaz said on May 20, 2007 | Reply

    Getting to know him and his family was my greatest honor. Only 1 thing still haunts me, I never got to say goodbye. I missed him by 5 minutes when he arrived in Al Asad, Iraq.

  75. #76
    Gina O. said on May 25, 2007 | Reply

    Memorial weekend is here you are remember as a HERO that yo are, Junior thanks for what you did for all of us.

  76. #77
    Tom said on July 15, 2007 | Reply

    I just finished reading Home of the Brave while enjoying a beautiful sunset, Sergeant Rafael Peralta, thank you for allowing me to have the freedom to enjoy that sunset and Karen....we will NEVER forget your brother!

    Ms Peralta-I know your family has suffered much from the loss of loved ones but please know that your son's death was not in vain, as you see here on this post-he did and continues to inspire.

  77. #78
    Jerome E Atger said on September 1, 2007 | Reply

    I never had the opportunity to personally meet Sgt Peralta, but once I heard his story, it has proved to me that our heros are still present. Many Marines look up to Chesty Puller, Daniel Day and Smedley Butler as true heros (and they are heroes), but sometimes we need to recognize the heros of today's conflicts and battles. Sgt Peralta has proven his, love, loyalty and passion that he had for his beloved Marine Corps and his Marines. and in the heat of battle, he was able to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the lives of his fellow Marines. Sgt Peralta is not only a hero, he is a role model...he is my role model. I wish to thank him for being such a great Mexican (I am of Mexican decent, too), American and U.S. Marine. I will always tell his story for as long as I live. Marines like Sgt Peralta, Cpl Dunham and Sgt Maj Kasal are true American heros!

    ...and to the Peralta family, I wish you the best through these difficult times. Thank you for raising and supporting such a good son...

    V/R,
    Jerome E. Atger
    Sergeant USMC

  78. #79
    Brenda Saldivar said on September 5, 2007 | Reply

    Rafa otraves estoy aqui escribiendote para decirte q no te hemos olvidado ahora yo estoy aqui sufriendo con mis 2 hijos y mi princesa q rapido pase este tiempo para q Walo regrese. Yo solo le mando mis bendiciones a mi chapparo para q regrese con bien sabes el hiso volunteer para ir a Iraq para vengar tu muerte y estoy deacuerdo con el pero porfavor cuidame mucho y has q nada le pase. Tengo tu foto en mi casa y tu sabes q todos los dias platico contigo sobre walo pero porfavor cuidalo siempre ya viene el 16 de Septiempre y recuerdo cuando fuimos a Waikiki te extranamos demaciado. Sabes mi bebe Rafita tiene tus cachetotes le puse Rafael por ti para q el al igual q nosotros siempre diga q es el significado de su nombre de un heroe un heroe Mexicano Cabron. Te queremos demaciado y nunca te vamos a olvidar recibe besos y abrazos de quien te quiere y extrana Saldivarlopez, Walito, Rafita, brenda la gorda y de mi GoD bless you alway SEMPRE FI

  79. #80
    George Sabga said on September 6, 2007 | Reply

    The Peraltas thank you all for your kind comments.

    Just wanted to let you know that the 31st MEU will be naming their Headquarters buiilding after Rafa. He was part of the 31st MEU when he was KIA.

    The dedication ceremony will be on September 21, 2007, and the family will be going.

    S/F
    George

  80. #81
    Crystal Reynolds said on September 21, 2007 | Reply

    Sgt Peralta, saved my husbands life that day, I never got to meet him in person, but from all the stories my husband has told me he was a man like no other. He will live in our hearts, and minds for eternity. We arent in touch with the family as much as we would like to be, but I hope they will read this and know that they too are in our hearts, and prayers, there isnt a day that goes by that we don't think of his sacrifice, as well as theirs, every time I look at my husband , and my daughter, I will whisper a word of thanks to Rafael for what he did that day, for I know if it were not for him, I wouldnt have either of them, and my son wouldn't have his father, god bless you Rafael, you shall never be forgotten, you are a true hero.

  81. #82
    Brenda Saldivar said on November 10, 2007 | Reply

    Hey Marine Happy Birthday from your Marine friends. Its another Marine Corps Birthday and you are in our prayers every day. Dont think your sacrifice will ever be forgotten cause we are here to let everybody know who you were. You are one of the few great persons I have ever meet and you will always live in my families toughts and prayers. Semper Fi Marine and may God keep you close to him. We miss you Rafa our lifes will never be the same with out you. We always remember those good times we had with you and the guys in Hawaii. Semper Fi .

    The Saldivar Family
    Walo, Brenda, Walito, Rafael and Adamary

  82. #83
    Salvador Arellano said on November 13, 2007 | Reply

    Pony-

    We still think about you and everything you did that day for your Marines. We love you brother...

  83. #84
    Ardy Coleman said on November 14, 2007 | Reply

    I just saw his story on the history chanel (11/14/2007 ) and what a great hero he is and myself and my family thank the Peralta family for their sacrifice. May god bless them and the "sarge" The Coleman Family. Greer S.C.

  84. #85
    Brenda Saldivar said on November 15, 2007 | Reply

    Hola Peralta today would be three years you left us and again you still have all this people that still remember you . Some here in the states and other fighting in Iraq. Dont ever think we will forget you. You were a great friend and a great person. Your sacrifies will never be forgotten , many years can go by but you will for ever be in our hearts. I had Walito seeing your pictures and he asked me all this qustions and I started crying and he looked at me and I told him that was your uncle Rafa and he loved you and he started crying and hugged me . He asked me how you had died and I told him he was working in Iraq killing Iraqies just like daddy. We miss you and will for ever keep yoiu in our hearts,prayers and in our family.

    The Saldivar Family

  85. #86
    Cpl Rodriguez, Eddie said on November 15, 2007 | Reply

    Peralta,
    Whats up buddy? I know its been a while since we last spoke or seen each other so I figure I would throw you a few lines here. I think the last time we spoke was when you called me from Iraq, huh. I miss you bro. I really wanted to come see you when you came home, but I couldn't because of work and school. Since then, I have tried to come out every year but it hasn't been working for me. I think Torres was coming up today to see you and also heard that Chavo was thinking about coming up and seeing you as well. Oh, I think Torres went back in and did a tour in Iraq voluntarily. I think about going back in.
    So Guyzik called me a few weeks ago and said he was a dad now and still working his 15, 16 hour days. From what I hear, all the homies are doing well. As for me, I'm hanging in there. It's a lot different out here than in there. I'm working full time and going to school part time so that way I can still pay the bills. Slowly but surely I will get it done.
    It feels like yesterday we were eating at Walos house or Mexico Lindo.

    Happy Belated Birthday

    Some how some way, I'm sure I will hear from you.

  86. #87
    A Machiene Gunner said on December 14, 2007 | Reply

    Sgt Peralta I personaly miss you very much you were a GREAT MARINE and A GREAT MAN I wish i was a little faster on the trigger maybe it would have made a difference but what is done is done and we cant change what has happend you will always be missed and I hope you have found calm winds a fair seas where you are at God Bless and Semper Fi You May Have Fallen but surely NOT Forgotten

    Gun Up

  87. #88
    robert reynolds said on December 19, 2007 | Reply

    hello sgt p

    well its been 3 years now since you gave your life for your men still no word on the medal but hope fully it will come soon the documentry was great i have had the great pleasure in meeting mis perlta and his family they are great people and the food mis peralta fixed for my self and davey allen was great i just wanted to say thanks again for what you did for us bro you will be never forgotten

    semper fi
    cpl reynolds,robert

  88. #89
    Brenda said on January 1, 2008 | Reply

    Hola Rafa solo te escribo estas cuantas lineas para desirte feliz ano . Se q no estas aqui pero se q tu estas mejor q nosotros. Te extranamos mucho y nunca te vamos a olvidar. Talves no estas aqui con nosotros pero yo en lo personal te digo q nunca te vamos a olvidar . Fuistes una muy linda persona y nunca te vamos a olvidar. Yo se q un dia nos vamos a volver a ver y todo va a volver hacer lo mismo. Recibe muchisimos saludos de toda mi familia. Siempre nos acordamos de todos los dia q pasabamos juntos. Ahorra Walo esta en Iraq y Dios quiera q muy pronto regrese. Te extranamos mucho.Hasta pronto!!!!

    Familia Saldivar - Lopez

  89. #90
    Brenda Saldivar said on April 7, 2008 | Reply

    Rafa,

    Feliz cumple anos amigo. Ya otro ano paso y recordamos muy bien el ultimo cumple anos q te celebramos en Hawaii. Como uvieramos aver pasado muchos mas a tu lado. Nunca te vamos olvidar, y siempre vas a vivir en nuestros corazones. Siempre me pregunto porq Dios es ta duro con nosotros y nos quita siempre lo bueno. Tu amistad siempre la vamos a recordar. Dios te llevo porq ya le haci falta otro angel. Otro angel mas q nos cuida cada dia mas q pasa. Feliz cumple anos Rafa de tus amigos q nunca te olvidan Lopez, Brenda, Walito (Scrappy), Brendita (la gorda) y Rafael . Nos vemos pronto amigo.


    Familia Saldivar

  90. #91
    Andrea said on June 12, 2008 | Reply

    First of all, R.I.P. Rafael. My brother is a marine, ooorah, and we're really hoping he doesn't get send. From what i read, i think Rafael was a really brave dude!!! well that's all and sorry for what happened!!!

  91. #92
    Crystal Reynolds said on September 18, 2008 | Reply

    I would just like to express to the family how sorry we are about the decision that came down yesterday, to give Rafael the naval cross instead of the Medal Of Honor. Robert was extremely upset, and feels the Miliitary is calling him and the other Marines who were present that day liars, how dare they make such a decision when they werent even there.
    We are not done fighting for this, we will be writing and speaking to anyone who will listen. God bless the Peralta family, you are in our hearts and prayers.

  92. #93
    Mike Casey said on September 18, 2008 | Reply

    Sgt. Peralta,
    First I just wanna say thank you to you and your fellow Marines of 1/3 for what you went through. I just saw the news about that board downgrading your award which I think is a complete travesty-you deserve the Medal of Honor! And to Mrs. Reynolds-maam I would believe your husband and his fellow Marines over the office pogues who made this unsat decision any day of the week.

    Semper Fi,
    Mike Casey USMC '85-'89

  93. #94
    ben said on September 20, 2008 | Reply

    Some gave all, All gave some....
    The outcome of the review is a shame. I am sorry to hear the news and pray that it will be reversed. I came into the Corps with Sgt Peralta we were in the same unit of 2nd Battilion 8th Marines back in 2000. For those of us who knew him then he was PG. There are fond memories from the 24th MEU together. He is missed but not forgotten.

    Semper Fi
    Sgt Whye

  94. #95
    Sgt Castro said on October 23, 2008 | Reply

    Rafa,

    No matter what you will always be a Medal of Honor. Rest in Peace my friend remember that Thrid Marine Divison will never.

  95. #96
    Brenda Saldivar said on November 15, 2008 | Reply

    Rafael,
    Its been 4 yrs already and we still remember that great friend we met in Hawaii.. You will never be forgotten. A heroe like you will always live in our hearts. God took a great person but left us full of great memories and let us had the pleasure of meeting you. You will always be our angel take care were ever you are at. Hugs from the kids and us.

    Love
    Walo and Brenda Saldivar

  96. Hello,

    I am writing on behalf of the Eugene A. Obregon Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial based in downtown Los Angeles, CA. We are Foundation that is dedicated to honoring ALL the Latino Congressional Medal of Honor recipients (www.obregoncmh.org) and we fully support the efforts of getting a Medal of Honor awarded to Sgt. Peralta. he certainly deserves it!

    I am hoping someone on here can assist me. I am trying to find out further information regarding Sgt. Peralta and the efforts behind getting him awarded the Medal of Honor.

    I am hoping someone might be able to assist me in locating further information regarding these efforts. In additiona, my initial questions are: 1) Is there a primary organization that is heading the efforts to have Sgt. Peralta awarded the Medal of Honor? 2) Does anyone know where I can locate a copy of the original response from Defense Secretary Robert Gates which denies Peralta the Medal of Honor?

    Any assistance or insight you can provide would be extremely helpful!

    Thank you!

    Vanessa Ramirez
    vramirez@rabengroup.com

  97. #98
    josue avelleira cid (familia peralta) said on June 4, 2009 | Reply

    pues disculpa por no saber escribir en ingles pero solo quiero saber como sigue la familia
    por aya
    bueno nos e si me conoscan pero soy nieto de la hermana de rafael "tio" bueno slo queremos comunicarnos con ustedes pues que nos den un correo de alguien para platicar
    bueno me y sabes que mi primo rafa fue el mejor herue de de america bueno me despido
    feliz dia
    bye

  98. #99
    Francisco Castro replied to Sgt Castro on August 24, 2009 | Reply

    Hey man just looking at this site made for you. I posted a comments about you your memory will always be at Third Marine Division 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3. To the Peralta family hope all is well I had the honor being there when your brother was lay to rest. I was one of the Marines who gave you guys the Americans flags. Rafa will always be a Honor of Medal reciepent no matter what. I was stationed at Hawaii and asked who knew about Rafa the people i meet had nothing but great things to say about you. like i said in earlier comments it was a honor to have known thsi great. oh yeah am still looking for my CD he threw aout of his some where between MCRDSD and TJ miss you man.

  99. #100
    CINDY ROJAS said on September 15, 2009 | Reply

    WOW!....its been quite a while since i was last on here....but i just wanted to say that no matter wat i always think about u,especially being back in san diego...i get to see ur mom and ur bro and sis and i just wish dat id all b good if u were here spendin time w us....i was driving to work today and i was going thru my old cd case and dat song that i sang 2 u came on and i really couldnt hold back da tears and think about u....i miss u and ill always love u....RIP baby...

  100. #101
    Brenda Saldivar said on November 16, 2009 | Reply

    It's been 5 yrs already and guess what we still rmember all those good times in Hawaii. We still tell your story and thank God for such a great person we met. We will always remember you and tell your story. May God keep your family safe and united. God bless you always. We love you and will always remember you.

    Brenda, Walo Walito, Arturito, and Brenda

  101. #102
    SSgt Fuentes, C.G. said on November 30, 2009 | Reply

    Sgt Peralta,

    I will never forget the day I met you while I was attached to 1/3 in Fallujah. I feel honored to say that I knew you, you will always be a Medal of Honor recipient to everyone that knows you or knows of your story. You are a true hero. I hope that some day someone finally revisits your citation and awards you what is truely deserved. RIP

  102. #103
    Cpl SalomonChavez Maximino said on December 29, 2009 | Reply

    Mi nombre es Maximino SalomonChavez soy 100% Mexicano como el y estube en los Marine Corps. Nunca lo conoci pero fue tanto mi coraje que maldeci mil veces a los arabes En Noviembre del 2004 me encontraba en Iraq cuando escuche lo que le paso al Sargento Peralta, fue algo muy doloroso por ser Mexicano y estar serviendo a nuestro pais adoptivo.

    Siempre eh estado al pendiente de las notcias sobre lo que paso con su caso de el, y apoyo a todos los que esten con la Familia Peralta. Si los governantes de este pais no quieren darle la medalla de Honor por su sacrificio y por el valor que tuvo yo estoy dispuesto a regresarle a este pais mis medallas de servicio. Si ustedes tienen una direccion donde pueda mandar una carta o aquien pueda escribir para dejarle saber mi enojo lo haria con todo gusto.

    I have been always paying attention to the Sgt Peralta case. If the Goverment Employes don't give the right respect to the Memory of Sgt Peralta by honoring him with the MEDAL of HONOR for his bravery and the live of his Marines I am willing to send my Ribbens to the CONGRESS as discorde. They can keep it, I dont really care.

    Maximino SalomonChavez

  103. Hi, My name is Stacey Hernandez, I am also a mother of a Marine .Mrs Peralta i ca not imagne what you are goin through,ad i hope and pray quenunca tenga que pasar por lo que usted esta pasando.I am so afraid for my son an for all milatary men and women.I am so proud of my son but yet so scared.I pray that god will give you the strengh and courage to go on . I have you and your family in my prayers,and OUR HERO YOUR BRAVE ANDWONDERFUL SON. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.REMEMBER YOU ALWAYS HAVE A FRIEND HERE MI QUERIDA AMIGA ROSA. I HAVE NO WORDS THAT CAN HEAL OR MAKE YOUR PAIN EASIER.BUT ALWAYS HAVE FAITH.IF YOU WOULD EVER LIE TO TALK MY NUMBER IS719- 980-1552 QUE DIOS LA BENDIGA AHORA Y SIEMPRE

  104. #105
    Brenda Saldivar said on April 7, 2010 | Reply

    Rafael another birthday of yours and we still remember. I wished you were still here. You are missed everyday in life. I show your movie our to all my friends, teachers and fellow veterans. I showed the movie to Jr and he was just asking questions about you. I remember that last bithday of yours in Hawaii and we had the previlige to celebrate it with you. You will always be missed and live in our hearts. All those beautiful memories will live in us for ever. You will always be in our prayers our lives and our memories. May God bless you, your family, and your friends always. Te extranamos mucho rafa. Feliz Cumple anos

  105. #106
    Cindy said on June 15, 2010 | Reply

    Gosh i havent been on ur website in such a long time...it doesnt make me feel bad bcus i know that theres no day that goes be when ur not in my thoughts. I have grown up so much physically and emotionally and day by day i ask myself what my life would be like if you were still here...i love u and i feel like i love u the same or even more than when you left. I MISS YOU!!!!! Im at working at MCRD and the first day i got there i had to stop in front of the chapel and get it together because i had so many flashbacks being there with u and being there for your last goodbye....i hear so much about you and i promise myself everytime i walk by that medal of honor wall that your picture is going to be the next picture up there. i feel great when i tell my classmates about you and how great u were....i love you Rafa and miss u soo much!!!!

  106. #107
    Brenda Saldivar said on November 15, 2010 | Reply

    Rafa,
    Its been 6 years already hope u were here with us. You are not forgotten Marine. We will always have u in our prayers. You will be well known by our friends and family not just by ur sacrifice but by the ways you were. Sharp Marine. May God bless you always. See you one day Marine. Semper Fi.

    Love
    The Saldivar Family

  107. #108
    Salvador Arellano said on November 16, 2010 | Reply

    Not forgotten you ol' friend...

    What Happened to Valor?

  108. #109
    Mike said on May 18, 2011 | Reply

    I got to this website after hearing Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, from El Cajon California point out that Rafael Peralta was a more fitting name for a newly commissioned Navy cargo ship.

    As another post had stated, Hero is not a big enough word for the actions of this man.

    I will never forget his story.

  109. #110
    Kat said on May 15, 2012 | Reply

    I also first heard about Sgt Peralta after Rep Duncan urged the Navy to name a newly-commissioned ship after him. Sgt Peralta's story stuck with me, and I found myself reading it again and again. This young man is the ultimate hero and a true patriot. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Sgt Peralta will NEVER be forgotten. What an incredible human being.

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