Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta

25, of San Diego, California.
Peralta died as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Died on November 15, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta.

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"We will remember u . ..forever and a day. U saved us that day.words will never cover the price you paid.love you pimp j...forever and a day."
"sav" C-Smith. of slc utah

"My eyes are moist when I think of you Sgt Rafael Peralta. You will never be forgotten. Who you were, and what you did, - amazing. To your family, and especially you, thank you. 9/13/2013"
Dazza of Tenino, WA

"HERO = A MYTHOLOGICAL OR LEGENDARY FIGURE OFTEN OF DIVINE DESENT, ENDOWED WITH GREAT STRENGTH AND ABILITY, A WARRIOR, A PERSON ADMIRED FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS AND NOBLE QUALITIES, ONE WHO SHOWS GREAT COURAGE.......LORD, WHERE DO WE GET SUCH MEN? ..........THANK GOD FOR THE BLOOD OF HERO'S!
~~~~~~~~~~~ "THE INCREDIBLY FABULOUS JOHNNY G." ~~~~~~~~~~~
--UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, RETIRED --DISABLED AMERICAN VETERAN --
--------------- PATRIOT GUARD RIDER -- WE RIDE WITH RESPECT --------------"
THE INCREDIBLY FABULOUS JOHNNY G. of STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK

"To the Peralta Family,
I pray that your days are filled with the loving memory of your beloved Rafael. His courage, dedication to family and friends, and his love of this country make me so proud to be a countryman of this American hero. May God bless you and keep you all."
Mary Bunn of Norfolk, VA /USA

"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free!
I follow the plan God laid for me.
I saw His face, I heard His call,
I took His hand and left it all...
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss...
Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.
My life's been full, I've savoured much:
Good times, good friends, a loved-one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—
Don't shorten yours with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,
Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow."
Bob Kausen of Nampa Idaho

"To the Peralta family,

Just to show that your loss was not in vain, nor Rafael being forgotten, I was at a seminar at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA this past weekend and a friend of mine brought up your son and his action in Iraq. We all spoke of his loss and how he deserves the Medal of Honor. I for one truly believes that he does and it is a travesty that he was denied this honor to date.

I also realized that today was the anniversary of his loss, therefore the note in his honor. I think the next time I am in San Diego a journey to Fort Rosecrans is in order to pay my respects to your son.

God bless you Sgt. Peralta and rest in peace hero. Thank you for your service and sacrifice."
Alex Boras of Beaverton, OR, USA

"Dear Mrs. Peralta and family, My son Corporal John Cooper was also stationed in Hawaii and was in Iraq during this time. I have a picture of him standing next to a "Camp Peralta" sign in Iraq. He brought this home and told me about your son. After he went back from leave my son died on the base and there is so many unanswered questions. I am proud that my son knew your son and now your other son has joined an elite group. I would love to get you a copy of this picture if you could somehow contact me."
Kimberly Cooper of Bonifay, FL/USA

""To the Peralta Family:
Today on Veterans Day 2010, I found this web site. I have thought so much of Rafael who I did not know but have shed many tears for him and your family. Today I visited my mom and told the story of the terrible day you lost a son saying I can never talk about that day without tears. I have wanted to say how grateful I am for your son, his life, his caring and for his sacrifice. You see, one of the men fighting with him that day, was my son, Brannon Dyer who lived, very likely due to your sons sacrifice. Sadly, I know no words to comfort for your loss but just know, I will never, never forget and hope to meet your son in a better place, a better day and time where there will be no more war. May God's love richly bless you and comfort. In honour of Rafael, May I extend, on Veterans Day, God Speed to all brave American servicemen and women every where and Ricardo, wherever you go -Stay Safe!!!!"
Kathy Dyer Deyton of Blairsville, Ga 30512

"as anyone started a Facebook page to petition the Metal of Honor being taken back? i would like to sign a petition or contact my Senator and Congressmen. Please let me know what I can do to make sure this tragic mistake is corrected. smprussell@aol.com"
Susan Russell of Las Vegas, NV 89121

"Dear Peralta Family
You and both of your sons represent the epitome of all that is still good about this country.
We are deeply saddened by your loss and hope to see the acknowledgement of your son, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, corrected to it's appropriate standard, The Medal of Honor. You are in the thoughts and prayers of our family daily and we will refuse to rest until this slight has been corrected.
May God Bless & keep you all.
With the utmost respect & sincerity,
The Navarro-Read Family"
Dixie Read of San Diego/San Antonio

"Dear Peralta family
You should be proud that your son has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his fellow soldiers and our freedom. I will never forget his story."
Jim McWade of Guilford, Ct USA

"to the family of Sgt. Rafael Peralta...
i just saw the story of Sgt. Peralta on 'CBS Sunday Morning' nov. 7th. 2010. a tear came to my eye as i listened to the story of his incedible act of bravery. and then listened in disbelief at the his being denied the Medal of Honor. i salute him and pray that his act of heroism and selflessness is duly recognized. God bless you, his family, and may God help us to bring an end to this war."
dave andrisek of Texas City, Texas, United States of America

"Dear Peralta family,
My deepest and most sincere thanks for raising a HERO. This story shook me to the bottom of my heart.The World exists because of people like Rafael. Thank you and May God bless you."
Tanya of Brooklyn, NY

"Sgt Peralta's actions unquestionably demonstrate what heroism truly is. To deny him the Medal of Honor is a shameful action that diminishes us all. The United States owes him a debt of gratitude that can never be paid."
Robert Hawkins, USAF Ret. of Princeton, Indiana

"Tell THIS to the Marines! Its politics!

With an award as high as this, The government has to look beyond the actions of the soldier in question and into his/her personal life. Far too many times has the defense department been embarrassed by a recipient of a Valor medal winner only to see the winner later question the policies of the US government in the public arena. In the case of Sgt. Rafael Peralta, we learn that he grew up an illegal alien only just receiving his green card before enlisting and could have been deported anytime before that. I believe that Sec. Gates did not want to risk Sgt. Rafael Peralta's family from being persuaded into using the medal as a platform on immigration issues by pro immigration forces. There is no question in my mind that this Marine deserves the MOH. This Marine exemplifies what it is to love this country and there are many of him in uniform and out who may have come here illegally but want to do the right thing and be accounted for in a country they love including myself as a British ex pat and I’ll add, ex British soldier! In the case of Sgt. Rafael Peralta, his sacrifice is not enough in the eyes of the government to override this issue and that is a damn shame. Sgt. Rafael Peralta, I will tell my new born son of your sacrifice. You are what it means to be American and I thank you for your service."
Campfreddie of New York

"thank you all so much for giving the ultimate sacerafice god bless you thank you. you are not forgotten by me."
charles meachum of woodstock ga.

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjz-wAQLSA&feature=PlayList&p=477CB1585D5551F3"
Scott Steiner of Worthington, Ohio USA

"I would like to tell the Peralta family, how very sorry i m for there loss. I CAN NOT IMAGNE THE PAIN YOU ARE SUFFERNG.I have a son that is a Marine he is 21 and has gone to Iraq and back I THANK GOD EVERYDAY FORHOIM BRINGING MY SON BACK HOME TO ME.I HAVE YOU IN MY PRAYERS ALWAYS.GOD BLESS AND ALL YOUR FAMILY.LOVE ALWAYS LA FAMILIA HERNANDEZ"
STACY HERNANDEZ of ROCKY FORD,COORADO

"My family thanks you for your service. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Trace Sutton of New Iberia, LA

"Your actions will be the ones I share with my children and grandchildren for them to know what true heroism is."
Scott Weber of Mokena, Illinois

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,750 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Mothers of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com. or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Rest in peace BROTHER. If not you than who I must ask."
Steven of Boston MA

"Sergeant Peralta,
Your actions. . .no, your life, is an example that the rest of us can only hope to match, for you have set the bar high, my Brother. We will continue to fight the political machine, by every means at our disposal, to overturn the embarassing, disloyal, dishonest decision made by Gates' committee, and see that you are awarded the medal that you so richly deserve, the Medal of Honor. For your family and friends, dispair not, for there are many of us out here who will never give up, and who certainly will NEVER FORGET.

Respectfully,
Another old Marine Vet from a Forgotten Generation.
And a Ride Captain with the Patriot Guard Riders
SEMPER FI, MARINE"
Jim Dickson of Grapeview, WA

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of need. Rafael is a TRUE HERO. Rest in Peace Rafael."
The England Family (USN) of Jasper, AL

"Peralta Family, Sgt Peralta deserves the MOH. I pray that God gives you the strength and endurance to see that medal being awarded. If anyone deserves the MOH it is your son, brother, nephew & grandson. It makes me embarrassed to be a member of the military when we allow such a travesty to occur. The politics and bureaucracy surrounding the award approval process was not present for the many other cases in which the medal was awarded. Therefore, it should not be there for Sgt Peralta's. What is fact is fact and nothing , not even a brain surgeon can change that. I am however, happy to see that you do have some congressional support but no family of a fallen Lava Dog or any other warrior should have to go through this pain."
Leon of Twentynine Palms, CA

"November 15, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Rafael Peralta:
Rafael gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"To the family of Sgt. Peralta I want to say I am even more prouder to be MEXICAN. I am a United States Marine as well I am currently at my MOS school in Camp Del Marr, California thank you for what your son did. It takes a real man to do what Sgt. Peralta did for another Marine, where ever Sgt. Peralta may be may he be in heaven guarding the streets as we the DEVIL DOGS do OORAH!!!"
PFC HERNANDEZ-BELLO, JORGE A of Camp Del Marr, California

"A la familia de un Heroe Americano pero que muy dentro de su corazon nunca dejo de ser un Mexicano a la fam. del Sargento Rafael Peralta mis mas grandes condolencias y una enorme gratitud y respeto por el gran ser humano que fue su hijo Dios los bendiga y les de muchas fuerzas y resignacion"
Jorge Hernandez of Phoenix Az

"A la familia de rafael. mi mas sentido pesame,se q es dificil esta situacion.solo quiero decirles q tengan mucha fortaleza y que el desde alla arriba donde el este con nuestro Dios los esta vendiciendo dia a dia.yo x mi parte le doy gracias al mi Dios x permitirme haber conosido a esta grandiosa persona llena de luz y ternura.para mi siempre ba a ser un verdadero Eroe. No tube el gusto de conoser a su familia pero el siempre me hablo de lo orgulloso que se sentia de ella.nunca olvidare todo ese carino que me dio durante todo el tiempo que estube serca de el, las salidas a la revolucion en tij y muchos momentos tan bonitos que pasamos juntos.una vez mas, mi mas sentido pesame a toda su fam."
Tereza Aguilera/ aseret4ever@hotmail.com of san diego, ca

"I just read about you Sgt. Peralta and your love for your buddies in the fight within the terrorist's holdout in Iraq. Tears filled my eyes as I read about what you did to save save your friends.

I feel great love in my heart for you Sgt. and great love for your family. They gave you up because you were fighting for all of us in the USA. I may never understand your heroic act nor may I ever feel as touched by your love for others, as I have by reading about your bravery. Please know that your name has been lifted up in prayer to our Father in Heaven and prayers also for your family. May God bless you and all of your family and friends.

No one could thank you enough for the giving of your life in order to save others. It is said that no greater gift is given than to give up one's life for others. I believe that is true. I do, however, deeply wish that you were still with us and living life with a smile on your lips and one in your eyes, and enjoying peace and love in the company of those who loved and who still love you so very much. You will never be forgotten.

No words suffice to say what I want to say. I know you are in heaven where peace reigns supreme and love flourishes."
Sandra Ghivizzani of Hampton, VA, USA

"I'm pround of you. Everybody knows about why they don't wanna give you this medal of honor... but... everybody knows that you're a real heroe"
cARLOS of ELP, TX, US

"I just heard this story on Fox News and am completely upset. This HERO deserves the highest honor for his actions. As a veteran myself of Fallujah in 2005, I know the region well. I worked along beside Marines both there and in Ramadi. Regardless of his nationality or his status of being an illeagal when entering the U.S. this MAN stood up for the values and freedoms we share. He is an AMERICAN HERO in my book!!!! My heart goes out to the family. GODSPEED AND BE PROUD OF YOUR MARINE. He was fearless and died with great HONOR! - SGT John S. Smith, U.S. Army"
John S. Smith of Snow Hill, NC

"God bless this man's family and loved ones. His actions are a true show of the dedication and will of the men and women of our US armed forces. He has given his life for his brother and his rewards will be great. No matter what ribbons are handed out, the story of this mans actions will go on. His story is that of a hero, a warrior...a US Marine! I hope others are inspired by the heart and will of this Sgt!"
Larry Kirk of Illinois

"I am the mother of one of his unit members and there is never day day that goes by I don't think of him. Thank you and god give your family strength."
Denise Salazar (mother of Sgt. Nicholas Jones of Redlands, Ca USA

"I just learned of Sgt. Peralta's story and was overtaken with grief. What an incredible sacrifice he made in the name of freedom. As the wife of a former Marine(several years older...smile), I certainly do wish that we had been privileged to meet him at least once during our travels with the Corp. While our paths unfortunately never crossed, please know that we will never forget him or his sacrifice! May all of Sgt. Peralta's family, friends and fellow Marines find a peace in knowing that he undoubtedly earned wings on that day!"
Greta Brown of Memphis, TN

"Poem for Rafael
He came to these United States
To be part of this great land,
And he honored her in all he did
Up through a final stand.

Impressed by the Marines he knew,
Their brotherhood so tight,
The eagle, globe and anchor,
And the claim of “First to Fight,”

The day he got his green card,
As his recruiters know,
He was back inside their office
Saying, “Now, ready to go.”

From the Depot’s yellow footprints
To the Lava Dogs’ K-Bay,
Then off to Okinawa,
Jump-off point for Iraq’s fray.

He was one of Alpha’s sergeants
When the marching orders came,
And they battled in Fallujah,
Where the bad guys did the same.

As platoon scout for his charges,
His pledge caused him to strive:
He’d do all within his power
So they’d make it home alive.

On a day of clearing houses,
He gave a squad a hand
As they searched from room to room
In a troubled distant land.

And when Rafa swung a door back,
There came a deafening sound
As bullets struck his body,
And he crumpled to the ground.

Marines rushed in behind him
And sprayed the room with lead
As their leader lay face down,
And they feared that he was dead.

The insurgents having bolted,
One tossed back a live grenade,
And it came to rest about a foot
From where Peralta laid.

His men surveyed the yellow bomb,
Minds racing with alarm;
Their fallen sergeant moved a bit,
And then with outstretched arm,

Rafa clutched the deadly object
And tucked it out sight;
Its explosion ripped his body
With devastating might.

And his comrades in the room,
Without the time to bail,
Were saved the mortal blast,
With its smothered shrapnel hail.

And they went home to their loved ones,
Where they speak in hallowed heed
Of their loving Marine Corps brother,
Who followed word with deed.

He died a U.S. citizen
who gave his very all,
With the U.S. Constitution
Back at home upon his wall.

So when you speak of immigrants
And where they fit today,
Please think of Sergeant Rafa
As you freely go your way.


by Kevin Murphy"
Nonos of Huron Ca

"Sgt Peralta, I always saw you around the battalion, and was fortunate enough to finally speak to you when I was the 7Ton driver for your Platoon heading out to the city on the 7th of Nov. As a Supply Marine and LCpl, never driving a 7ton in my life, I was very nervous, but you as my A-Driver had the right words to make me feel at ease a little. How long did we talk, like 2 hours? Ready to roll at crack early dawn, but hurry up and wait is the Marines Corps way right? Your words about how the Marines Corps is what you make of it is something I use to this day with every young Marine under my charge. The day I saw your body in that bag, I finally new the war had really began, atleast for 1/3, because although a few passed before, I believe you were one of the greats, not only Marines, but persons. Thanks for the words, and if I'm ever half the Sgt you were, I'll be happy. And trust me my friend, when people speak of Cpl Duhnom, they for damn sure know who Sgt Peralta was when I'm done with them. Semper Fi cabron!"
Sgt Roberto Enriquez of Yuma, AZ, USA

"OUR WHOLE NATION LOVES YOU"
Joel Kahle of Silver Spring, Maryland

"Que dios te bendiga Rafa, You'll always be in our hearts."
SSGT Ramirez Alejandro of RS San Antonio, RSS Round Rock TX

"Mr. Sgt. Peralta. you were a great man and you deserve every award that the marines could ever give out. You are a brave man and takes alot of courage to do the heroic thing that you did. May God have mercy on you and let you threw the big gates and live in his kindom forever! GOD BLESS!"
Thomas Behling of Indianapolis Indiana

"thanks Rafa, I still remember the day you tried to drop off those detainees at the hospital. you made sure you had all you paper work in order it still makes me laugh to this day thank you and I miss you"
Jeffrey McDaniel of middletown, RI

"I'm looking forward to the day that Sgt Peralta is awared the Congressional Medal of Honor, which he so richly deserves. His story inspired me and my fellow Marines immensely- he will never be forgotten. Semper Fi."
SSgt Rich Masella of FL

"Sgt Peralta,
"Thank you" is all I can say. You are a true hero. I have never met you but I thank you everyday when I see my brother. You sent him home to me. He always speaks with love when he talks about you. I went to your grave this year and got to see your beautiful view. Nick says that you are happy there. I will see you every year when I return with my brother to thank you for your selfless sacrifice. Please guard the streets of heaven; we will be there soon to man the post next to you. Semper Fi Marine"
Sgt. Anthony Jones 1st LAR 1st Mar Div. of Norco, CA

"To the family of:Rafael Peralta I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"No words can express my feeling. He now guards the gates of heaven. How lucky we are to have men of his caliber. "Semper Fi""
Sgt. G. Troutman '65-'71 of Jacksonville, Florida

"My Dad, a Vietnam Marine, forwarded me (I am an Air Force veteran) a list of 232 reasons to be proud to be a Marine. As a Marine-brat and fellow service-member, Sgt. Peralta's mention on this list immediately opened my eyes. To hear that the Medal of Honor was still being considered told me that I should at the very least, send this message.

Sgt. Rafael Peralta earned the Medal of Honor. His actions deserve the higher honor without question.

God Bless Sgt. Rafael Peralta."
Paul V. Ruh, III of Columbus, Ohio, USA

"I was also a member of RCT 7 that day, it was a pretty rough week for all of us. Peralta was one of sixty total we lost during the time in Al Anbar, he was one of the most memorable for me, although did not know him personally. I flew back to Okinawa with 1/3 the following February, had a few beers at the E-Club, still gritty, sweaty and grubby with desert sand still on our boots. We did a shot for him. Thank god for those that are like him.

Semper Fi"
Wild Bill of South Carolina

"Sgt. Peralta is the epitomy of a true Marine. All Marines are heroes, and there is a code to be followed. Sgt. Peralta followed that code, and payed with his life. Because of him, half a firing team is alive today. I will follow the code of honor and fight to the death if thats what is asked of me.

Hoo Rah, Sgt. Peralta, Hoo Rah"
2nd Lt. Waldrop of Al Anbar, Iraq

"11/15/2007... Sgt Peralta, I have not forgotten! Semper Fi!"
Jay of Nebraska

"Sgt. Peralta should be considered for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his extreme bravery & courage in Iraq..I just viewed a documentary on him on the History Channel..
God Bless,a proud Marine Mom"
Lynn Osvold of Pensacola, Florida

"To the Family of Sgt. Peralta:

I grieve for your loss. He was a truly outstanding man and a role model to all who come to America seeking freedom. Thank God that men such as he live in times such as these.

A la familia de sargento Peralta: Me aflijo para su pérdida. Él era un hombre verdaderamente excepcional y un modelo del papel a todos que vienen a la libertad que busca de América. Agradezca a dios que los hombres tales como él viven en épocas tales como éstos."
Thomas Potter of Bloomingdale, IN

"I write this to the many that read and to the man who has left us, Sgt Rafael Peralta. I personally dont know him, but I know of him.

There is a tan line from a black band on my wrist. It reads, "Sgt Rafael Peralta, San Diego, Ca USMC 11/15/05".

I found this inside a humvee while in Iraq, (currently still in Iraq) and decided to wrap this great name around my wrist. I've worn it for months now, in honor of Sgt Peralta. I believe he was not human, but something greater. He gave the ultimate sacrafice for his men, which blows my mind away. He was more than just a man, but an angel.."A Marine Angel".

I was augmented out to a ground side unit because I volunteered to go. That is where I strapped the wrist band around my body. I believe his spirt and his story kept my spirits high, and me and my man safe. As I returned to my parent unit, I had many questions about the band. I've just said, look him up, you'll feel as if you know a part of him.

As time passes, there will be many who dont know the story and very few that do. I feel honored to have his name on my wrist. For that, I am thankful to know his story for I believe it's a small reminder to be a better Marine, and a better person."
Cpl Ryan Lekosky of Iraq, Corpus Chrisit, Texas

"To the family of Sgt Peralta, I extend my gratitude for the fine qualities instilled in this man. Obviously, he was raised with the best his family could give to him. You see, it is not the Corps that drills these things into a Marine. They are already there, and the Corps just brings them out. He was an example of what a Marine Sergeant should be. He was true to all that he had to be. Sgt Peralta gave his life so that his Marines could finish the mission and return to the FOB safely that day. This is the highest honor and contribution a Marine can give. We all want to finish the job and come "home" at the end of the day or night, and sleep until the next one. It takes a man willing to give all for the Marines he loves. You won't find that sort of brotherhood in many places. So, the next time you hear someone commenting on how stupid this war is, or how the military is nothing but a bunch of baby-killers, don't stoop to their level. You will not convince them, as they are too deep into their ignorance. Just think about the sacrifices your men in uniform give for their country and families. What would they want? Walk away. They put up the fight so that you don't have too. Many have given their lives or limbs just to provide the right to speak of such things. If we quit now, all the sacrifices made by America's Finest will be for naught.

Godspeed, Brother. See you in the next one. Your Marines will never forget you."
Former Marine Sergeant continuing the mission inside of Iraq

"I was recently made aware of the heroics of Rafael Peralta. It is a shame his name is not the household word it should be. He was obviously a great American and true patriot. I wept when I read the account of his bravery and sacrifice. May God bless his wonderful soul and also be with his family. They have much to be sorrowful about and we as fellow Americans have much to be grateful for. Thank you........."
Scott Kelly of Marion, Ohio USA

"Sgt. Peralta,
After we attacked I had the pleasure of getting to know you for a week before you left us. At that time. I had know idea I was sharing stories with a true HERO. Thanks for your sacrifice and know that my son will hear stories about you when he gets older. God Bless your family for raising such a great man, and God Bless the Corps for training a HERO!!!"
Sgt. Brad Thomas of Houston, TX.

"I did the paperwork to hire Rafael into the California Conservation Corps when he was 19 yrs old. I watched him develop from a fine young man into a finer young man. I watched as he was promoted to crewleader within 6 mos. He had an impact on all who knew him and I liked him very much. The last time that I saw him was when he came to our office in his dress blues and looking so handsome & proud. He was about to be deployed. I often think about him and my prayers & thanks go out to his family, who has been through a lot. Thank you Rafael, you have made a great impact on many lives."
Ginger of San Diego, CA

"Your historical view has admired me to become a Marine more often than I used to. It was hard for me to say your last name. Somehow I manage to get it right. You are a brave marine and I thank you and every other fallen and I’m just stopping by in the entire fallen name I remember today.
Thank you.
Semper Fi."
Ledonia Norrise of LV,Nevada

"It's been a long time since his dead and he is still remmeber. My prayers are for his family. God Bless everyone in the service."
Gina of Santa Ana, CA

"THE GOOD GUYS OF MORGAN RUN C.C. IN SAN DIEGO HELD A GOLF TOURNAMENT IN SGT. PERALTA'S HONOR. WE RAISED $260,000.00 TO GIVE TO OUR WOUNDED MARINES FROM CAMP PENDLETON. THIS SHOWS HOW MUCH OUR MEMBERSHIP CARES FOR OUR UNITED STATES MARINES AND THE SACRIFICES THEY HAVE MADE FOR OUR COUNTRY. GOD BLESS THEM ALL"
GEORGE MOULIOS of ENCINITAS, CA. USA

"Wow, I am very touched by what this man did for his fellow Marines as well as the country... He is truly an American hero and I am sure he is greatly missed by his family and friends."
Maggie Murphy of San Diego, CA USA

"I was attached to C Co 1/3 during the time Sgt. Peralta was killed. I was with 3 AABn C Co 2nd Plt. I had the pleasure of talking to him a few times and I will never forget the man I met in Kuwait and Iraq in 2004. Semper Fi and see you on the other side brother."
Cpl Wiggins of 29 Palms Ca

"I was in that house on that day, and I was with the bravest men in the world. It was an honor to be among them, and to carry our fallen brother, Sgt. Peralta, from the battle. I will carry him, and our other fallen brothers in my heart forever. I thank God for the opportunity to have served with such brave men of the United States Marine Corps. May God bless your family, and all of the families of those who gave life so that we may have it. Semper Fi, Sgt Peralta."
Brannon Dyer of Blairsville, GA

"There are no words that can describe what this wonderful man did. Thank you and may God have you by his side."
JT of Lexington, Ne

"Did not now this young Sergeant. Everything I have read about him, I have heard before. No one should be surprised that he covered that grenade to protect his Marines. That is what Marines do! He went into harms way because he was a true believer. Marines protect each other. You can bet the farm that he is now guarding the streets of Heaven. He will live forever with his Marine Brothers.
Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Frates Aeterni
"Often Tested; Always Faithful; Brothers Forever""
Jim Davlin of San Gabriel, Ca. USA

"SEMPER FIDALIS FROM A HOOAAH. WE ARE AS ONE! WE WILL REMEMBER! GOD BLESS YOUR SELFLESSNESS! LTC{R} S.BOHANNAN"
steven w.bohannan of sullivan,missouri

"Dearest Rafael Peralta-
It is men like you that make our country the "Greatest Country" in the world. You truely live up to the honorable name of "Marine". I am proud of men like you that inspire young men to join and be apart of such a great organization as the USMC. You and men like you are the reason my son joined and gave his life selflessly for others to enjoy what most americans take for granted. Thank you from our family."
Kristin Morrow of Riverside, CA USA

"Rafael,
I read about your bravery in the Marine Times. Because of your heroism, your fellow Marines survived that grenade blast. You are the epitome of what a Marine NCO is supposed to be. I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

""Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friend" and loved ones. Our nation is saved and protected by such men, now 2500+ in Iraq. They will never be forgotten for their ultimate expression of love, with their lives."
rob nilson of Monroe, NY, USA

"Sgt Peralta was a great American hero! We will always remember him and be greatful for his service and sacrifice."
Monica Chadwick of Dallas/Texas

"To the family of one of the most outstanding individuals i have ever met. I served with him in 1st bn, 3rd marines, he was an outstanding friend, marine and man i think of him every day and pray for his family every night. God bless his family and friends."
CPL Vincent E. Reynoso of parris island,sc

"I am so very proud of all my fellow Marines and soldiers fighting for us. Thank You All and may our God, Jesus Christ protect you and Bless you & yours.

Tom
USMC HMH-462
Vietnam"
Tom of Chicago

"To the family of Sgt Rafael Peralta: America was blessed when Sgt Peralta arrived on this earth...I wish I could find words adequate to express my gratitude to you and my sincere condolences for our collective loss...maybe there are no "extraordinary men but only ordinary men who do extraordinary things", but Sgt Peralta has certainly raised the standard for extraordinay and heroic deeds....what a great man and what a fine American."
Charles Harris, USCG (ret) of Stafford, VA/USA

"I can say that by accident I came across the story of Rafael whilst contemplating things that I shouldnt! It is fair to say, to his family and friends, that he has saved another life.
How could anyone feel worthy of death after appreciating such a sacrifice. It is June 2006 and his legacy does not gain any tarnish. It is his value of life that inspires many including one with 3 children on the other side of the world. My prayers and thoughts will always be with you his family. Love Chris"
Hon. Chris S. of Australia

"I stood many a post with (then Cpl.) Peralta. He taught me the finer points of what being a Marine NCO was all about. Rafael knew all about mission accomplishment, yet he never sacrificed the welfare of his troops. Rafael was an incredible Marine, and a wonderful human being. You will not be forgotten my friend.

Semper Fidelis."
(fmr) Cpl Castellanos of MCRD, San Diego CA

"I READ RAFAEL'S STORY HERE IN PUEBLO, COLORADO, I WAS GREATLY MOVED. MY TEARS CAME AUTOMATICALLY AND I AM A TOTAL STRANGER, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT HIS FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH. AS WELL AS HIS FELLOW MARINES. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM ALL. GOD BLESS, AND I SURE HOPE HE KNOWS WE ARE VERY GREATFUL.AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU MR. PERALTA."
DEBORAH of PUEBLO,COLORADO

"I would just like to say that i am greatly moved by the story of Sergeant Rafael Peralta, i would just like to thank him for his sacrifice and that i am an aspiring marine and prays for him everyday . He is my hero and i will always keep his story and him in my heart. He is a great example of courage and is a man of great honor. God Bless him and his family.I will never forget."
Thomas St. Pierre of Staten Island, NY

"THANK YOU, from my family, for your sacrifice. May God bless you and your family, and keep you always!"
Brooke Tarvin of Hamilton, OH

"My family owes Mr. Peralta a great debt. God Bless him and his family."
Ray Cole of USA

"Marine Sgt. Peralta was mortally wounded by enemy fire and in his last fleeting moments of consciousness- reached out and pulled a grenade into his body, smothering the blast of the enemy grenade saving the lives of his fellow Marines.

Peralta was born in Mexico and was granted American citizenship after joining the Marines and will be recipient of the Medal of Honor as a result of his act of heroism and his name will always be remembered as the few brave ones who are to willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so others may live.

Sargento Peralta es un orgullo para todos los hispanos que venimos a este pais, en busca de un nuevo hogar, un hogar que aprendemos a amar y estamos dispuestos a darlo todo por el, hasta nuestras propias vidas si asi fuera necesario.

Sargento Peralta, que Dios te tenga a su lado y bendiga a toda tu familia.

http://www.cefaro.homestead.com/Fallen5.html

December 18, 2005"
Cefaro of Washington DC

"When I heard the story of Sergeant Rafael Peralta, I was completely taken back by his actions the day of November 15th, 2004. I have heard of Marines performing such brave acts of heroism, but it never hit home like his story did. Sergeant Peralta, it is Marines like you that make me so proud to wear this uniform. Your selfless act truly embodies our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. You are truly an American hero and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice. Semper Fi Sergeant Peralta."
Sergeant Jonathan J. Grubb of Jacksonville, FL USA

"I spiritually adopted Rafael as part of Support the Troops Week 2005 at Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio.

I will be praying for his soul and for the family every day.

God Bless You

Billy"
Billy Valentine of Steubenville, OH

"About Sgt Rafael Peralta,
Rafael was a good man and a good Marine. I had the honor of serving with him in OIF II, Fallujah, Iraq with BLT 1/3, A. Co, 1st Plt. Some people may not have liked him, but all respected him. I got to know pretty well. He had a good heart. Those that knew him personally would all agree he was a great guy. I am appreciative of how he looked out for the corpsmen of 1st platoon. During our initial operations in Fallujah, he was with me with almost every patrol I went on. I will definitely miss him and will always tell people about what he did for his beloved country and corps."
Doc "Barndoor" of Pearl Harbor, HI

"WOW! EIGHT MONTHS AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY...THERE'S NO DAY THAT GOES BY WHERE YOU'RE NOT IN OUR MINDS, WE ALL REALLY MISS YOU, BUT I THINK THAT I DONT HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT CAUSE I KNOW THAT FROM HEAVEN YOU'RE WATCHING OVER ALL OF US. IT'S CRAZY BECAUSE ALL OF US WHO KNEW YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT YOUR AROUND AT WORK OR JUST HANGING OUT WITH YOUR BOY'S, PARTYING AND DANCING LIKE WE WERE ALL USED TO SEEING YOU. NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE YOU, TALK TO YOU OR HEAR YOU HAS BEEN VERY HARD TO OVERCOME AND TO COPE WITH, I KNOW THAT I PROMISED YOU THAT I WASN'T GOING TO CRY IF WE WERE EVER IN THIS SITUATION AND NOW THAT IT HAS BEEN EIGHT MONTHS OF TRYING TO COPE WITH IT,IM SORRY FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP MY PROMISE, BUT IT HAS BEEN VERY HARD TO ACCEPT THE REALITY OF LIFE. I THINK OF THE TIMES WHEN WE USED TO HANG OUT AFTER CHURCH, PARTIES, DINNERS AND ALL THE CONVERSATIONS THROUGH THE PHONE AND I THINK OF HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND SOME ONE WITH AT LEAST ONE OF YOUR QUALITIES, AND OF COURSE ITS ALWAYS THE SAME CONCLUSION, THAT NOBODY CAN REPLACE YOU OR BE LIKE YOU. I KNOW THAT IF YOU WERE HERE YOU WOULD BE TRIPPIN OUT TO SEE THAT YOU HAVE BECOME A HERO TO EVERY ONE AND THAT YOUR NAME IS KNOWN ALL OVER THE WORLD AS A HERO, BUT WHAT EVERYONE DOESN'T KNOW IS THAT TO THE PEOPLE THAT KNEW YOU, YOU WERE ALREADY OUR HERO BEFORE GIVING YOU'R LIFE FOR THE OTHER MARINES.THANKS FOR ALWAYS BEING AROUND RAFITA....LOVE U AND MISS U BABE AND HOW YOU USED TO SAY "CATCH YOU LATER BABY...""
CINDY of SAN DIEGO, CA

"My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regard him then as I regard him now -- as one of the world's noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage."
SFC Howard C. Hudson, Ret of Myrtle Creek, Oregon

"Those who Bloom
In the Hearts of Others
Never Fade Away
May you find Comfort & Strength
In Your Memories of Rafael

To find the proper words to express my feelings to the families of soldiers who have given their all--is difficult.
To say Thank You is not enough---but know it comes from the heart---
Rafael will not be forgotten---"
Mary Williams of Pt St John, Florida

"12/24/1969, Danang, Vietnam--a Marine saved my life under VC fire. I never learned his name, was never able to thank him. So now I thank every Marine I can for the freedom I enjoy each day. And my freedom is now far more precious than it was before, for it has been bought with the life of another American hero, one whose name I know, Rafael Peralta. Thank you, Peralta family; thank you, Rafael. Vaya con Dios."
Jeff Stebbins of Colorado Springs, CO

"WE MISS YOU!"
FAM. ROJAS of SAN DIEGO CA

"It takes a brave man to do what SGT Peralta did in that room in Iraq. He is another example of the Marine heroism shown in Iraq. It is never easy to accept a loss, but remember that Rafael was willingly and honorably serving his country to keep it free and safe. Where would this greatest country on earth be without the brave heroes like SGT Peralta? Semper Fi!"
Ted Cagley of Pontiac, Illinois

"Your being missed by all of us, "Dirty," "Hero," "Old Man," "Walo," "Z," Cucuy AKA Johnny 21 AKA El Guapo," "Pimp Juice," and me "Riz" El Narizon. Wish u were here drinking a cold one with us. We had GOOD TIMES. Catch you later brother."
Torres of Orange County, Ca

"To the family of Sgt Peralta, not a day goes with out reflection of the sacrifice made by your son/brother. He was a friend and a brother to all of us that served with him, and were there as he gave his life so others could live. Nothing can replace a man like him; but men live today only because of his selfless actions on Nov 15."
Sgt Nielson, Jared of Okinawa, Japan "A" Co. 1/3

"RAFA IT HAS BEEN 5 MONTHS SINCE WE LOST YOU.THERE IS NOT ONE DAY THAT GOES BY THAT WE DONT THINK OF YOU. NOW THAT YOU ARE NOT HERE WITH US I REALIZE THAT IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO TELL A PERSON HOW IMPORTANT HE/SHE IS TO THEM. I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP. RAFITA I AM SORRY OF ALL THE HARD TIME I GAVE YOU WHEN I KNEW THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BECOME MY BROTHER-IN-LAW. WE MISS YOUR GREAT SMILE AND YOUR VOICE."
YURI ROJAS Y FAM. of SAN DIEGO CA.

"Rafa well its been 5 months already? And we still remebered and celebrated your birthday April 7th at the Iwo Jima Memorial over at your last duty station in Hawaii. Walo, you nephew "JR" and my self had a prayer for you , roses , candles and other friends at the memorial we had for you. Walito also let some ballons go for you about you.Even if you never had the change to meet him he loves you as much as you loved him will I was expecting him. He will take care of all those things you left for him before he was born and will always have your pictures for him. He will also know you wanted to meet him and he will always be part of the family you left behind for all of our freedom. Thank you for that, we will never be able to pay back what you did for us. We love you and will always celebrate your birthday as we did this year from were ever were at. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS . We will always be proud of having the opportunity of serving with you to keep our Country Safe even if we did not have the same luck as you did of having to go to Iraq. We will always be proud to be called United State Maries. Thank you . We will always remember you ."
Brenda, Eduardo, and Walito of Honolulu, HI

"To the family and friends of Rafael Peralta,
I grieve for your loss, and am truly grateful for your sacrifice. I am certain it would have been a great honor to have known Rafael. May God’s grace bring comfort to your family. Semper Fi, my Marine brother, may you rest in peace, and may your death not be in vain."
Jeff Dugan of Columbia, TN/USA

"Sergeant Peralta, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"I cannot say how thankful I am for men like Rafael Peralta. I did not know him- only slightly so. He served in the same battalion as my boyfriend does. So when I read his story and saw where he was from, I felt this extra sense of gratitude and sorrow. If condolences could help Peralta's family at all, I give them with all my heart. His story is the stuff of bravery, courage, faithfulness, everything good in people. I am proud simply to hear his story. I cannot imagine how proud you must be of your son. More than anything, I'm praying for your loss. God be with you all."
Kate of Bloomington, Illinois

"I cannot say how thankful I am for men like Rafael Peralta. I did not know him- only slightly so. He served in the same batallion as my boyfriend does. So when I read his story and saw where he was from, I felt this extra sense of gratitude and sorrow. If condoloences could help Realta's family at all, I give them with all my heart. His story is the stuff of bravery, courage, faithfulness, everything good in people. I am proud simply to hear his story. I cannot imagine how proud you must be of your son. More than anything, I'm praying for your loss. God be with you all."
Kate of Bloomington, Illinois

"I was able to share moments with Sgt. Peralta, not only as a friend but also as a boyfriend. No medal or any award is going to make the fact that he is not here better. He was always putting the people that surrounded him first than him, so what he did doesn't surprise anyone who knew him. I know that if Jr. were here he would be really proud to see that poeple see him as a hero, and the great guy that he was! WE MISS U BABY! and I know that all of us who knew him would give anything just to hear half your breath and see you smiling. No one could ever fill your shoes you were certainly one in a million. I LOVE YOU BABE!"
Cindy of San Diego Ca.

"Thank you soldier for your sacrifice. Your sacrifice is not in vain... My condolences to the Peralta family. I grieved for your loss. When I heard the news on CNN about Sgt. Rafael Peralta, it broke my heart. I, too, lost a loved one -my brother Army Spc. Edgar P. Daclan Jr during a combat in Balad, Iraq on Sept. 10, 2004. Rafael and my brother have something in common - they both liked to be in the frontline. I am so proud of soldiers like my brother and of Rafael and to the rests of the soldiers out there fighting for freedom. Soldiers like them will always be remembered and loved. I will tell this great story of heroism to my future kids and grandkids. Thank you soldier, thank you Rafael."
Aileen of Torrance, CA

"Thank God for Sgt. Peralta. Sgt Peralta is the epitome of a hero and Marine. If I had only half the courage of this Marine I would be twice the man."
Reno Maynard of Yuma, AZ USA

"I am Terry Wilson, 17 from TN, I read what this Young Marine did for his Country and I admire this and I wish that he would get a great Honor for this! He saved 3-4 fellow Marines in the sake of his own life! This needs to be known. I will enlist in the Marines next year!"
Terry Wilson of Dyersburg, TN, USA

"This hero, while conducting house to house searches and after being wounded, dove to cover a live hand granade with his body and saved the lives of his fellow Marines. Rafael is the example I use when I explain to the young boys in my neighborhood of what a true American Hero is. I know the Father above has a special place for you Rafael. The entire nation owes you our sincere thanks. Semper Fi brave Marine and bless your loved ones. From a very grateful fellow American."
Jim Shaw of Bahama Beach, Maryland

"a nombre de la familia Barrientos de san diego ca,le doy gracias a Dios que nos permitio conocer en vida a Rafita como cariñosamente le llamamos en casa,un gran hijo,un gran amigo,un gran hermano,Dios bendiga a tu familia"
Federico Barrientos of San Diego ,CA . U S A

"Thank you Rafael for what you did for all of us. I will remember you each day I raise my flag in the front yard. You are my hero. Semper Fi Marine. From a grateful family."
The Shaw Family of Pasadena, Maryland

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Rafael Peralta:
We, and the entire country, are both deeply moved by the heroism, courage and selflessness of this Marine, and deeply grateful for his willingness to serve his country and offer his all in that service. We are also a military family, with both retired and active duty members, and our son just arrived safely back in Germany from the Middle East - we are so very proud of all the sons and daughters who are willing to answer the call, and we stand beside those families who've watched the news, sweated and worried, and lived for the voice on the phone. Sgt. Peralta's deeds will never be forgotten, either by his fellow Marines, nor by his countrymen. His life and service embodies the best of the American Spirit, and inspires us all to higher standards. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers - our deepest sympathies in this time of loss."
The Wicks Family of Phoenix, Arizona

"Words do not begin to express the feelings I have for this Marine. My heart goes out to the family and friends that Rafael Peralta has left behind. Semper Fi Marine. God go with you."
Rick Froman of Seattle, WA

"With deepest sympathy to the Rafael Peralta family. He is rememered as far away as Texas. My Pastor used Rafaels story of bravery in his sermon. How a man would lay his life down for his friends. A man who would fight for this country when other men born in this country didn't want to. Even through your loss I sincerely hope you can find some joy in being proud of Rafael."
Ochoa of San Antonio, TX

"To the family of Rafael: i have heard of the heroism of Rafael. i know that when on the day he got his green card he went marine. i know that the things that hang on his wall at home were the constitution, bill of rights and his boot camp certificate! i know of the sacrafice in what he did to save his fellow marines in that same room! and that is heroism to its absolute degree! he is more american then we will ever know! Rafael, you are my brother-in-arms! you are the perfect example of sacrafice! you are an american! may god smile on you!"
Austin Blackwell of Arroyo Grande, CA

"Sgt. Rafael Peralta, Thank you for your service to the country you love, America! We will always remember your sacrifice, your courage, and your selfless devotion to duty! Your countrymen will never forget your bravery, and we will prevail in the war on terror! Thank you for keeping us safe and free!"
Scott Pickering of Fountain Hills, AZ

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Rafael Peralta
Like everyone before me, words cannot express my sorrow for your loss. As I write this with tears streaming down my face, a sense of intense pride beams from above. The ultimate sacrifice was given by a very courageous man without a second thought. Please, never doubt his death, celebrate it. Having never met him, I feel like he will always be family. His selfless act represents all that being an American is about. Being a veteran of peacetime myself, I honor him for all that he did. God Bless you and your family."
C. A. Counsil of Brenham, Texas, U.S.A.

"Memorial Day 2004

Soft winds blowing across a mountain top flag
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"
Felton Green of Lakewood, CO USA

"Memorial Day 2004

Soft winds blowing across a mountain top flag
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"
Feltonj Green of Lakewood, CO USA

"To the family and loved ones of Rafael Peralta: He was a great man. I, and millions like me, can not begin to express our gratitude for his selfless sacrifice. God bless him and you."
Tom Mathews of Richmond, VA

"To Rafael Peralta's family my prayers and respect are with you and to all the men and women who gave and are giving that I may live a free man. May your son's life be not in vain on my account. I shall never forget."
Eternally Grateful of Norco, California

""No greater love hath no man than to give his life for a friend. ..."
May he rest in Peace!"
Phil Kober of Madison, WI

"from a brother in arms.
God bless you and your family.
eternal thanks."
capt william bright USAF of Little Rock AFB

"We are blessed to have men such as this among us. May his family be comforted by the honor of his life, and the selflessness of his death. We honor this great man, and pray that he is in a better place, and also pray that we will be privileged to join him someday, though we are unworthy. God bless him and his family and friends."
Dean Stephens of Colerain, North Carolina

"To the Peralta Family:
Thank you for bringing into this world a hero who saved the lives of his fellow marines. I know no words can comfort you in this time of mourning and sorrow, but I want you to know how truly grateful America is for the sacrifice your son, brother, and grandson made. His name will never be forgotten, and his character is that which we should all strive to be. I am completely humbled by his actions, and from the bottom of my heart I thank him. May God's strength be with you during this time, and please know there are a multitude of people praying for you."
Kim Moxley of Longview, TX USA

"Dear Peralta family:

Thank you for you bringing a wonderful person into this world and laying the foundation for Sgt. Peralta's heroic actions. His deeds and service will never be forgetten by this Country."
David Weber of Seattle, WA

"semper fi. adios."
Mark Newman of Forest City Iowa

"Dear Peralta Family,

Your son and brother Rafael, is the expression of humanity at it's absolute finest. There aren't words to describe our sorrow at his loss. That he gave everything, that he continues to give even in his absence is a testament to what a fine man he must have been. I will remember him, I will tell my children about him, and his memory will carry us through our own dark moments in this world. We grieve with you here in Ohio, and we look forward to the day when all these tears will be wiped away forever by our loving God, who has already welcomed Rafael home. May His grace, love and peace be with you all until then."
sms of Maumee, OH

"To the Peralta family, my deepest sympathies and sorrow at the loss of your son and brother. God was watching over his Marine brothers when he decided to take Rafael to Him."
James Meili of McFarland, WI

"Para la familia de Rafael Peralta:
Qué el Señor los bendiga y reciba a tu hijo, un verdadero héroe. Les agradezco su sacrificio y el de su hijo."
Greg Drew of Jackson, New Jersey

"I read of the heroism shown by Sgt. Peralta, and am incredibly moved by his sacrifice and the level of selflessnes he showed. I'm not surprised by it, however. I've been married for 22 years to a Marine, and I've come to regard this sort of behavior as normal for them. I carry a copy of Sgt. Peralta's story with me, and I'm showing it to as many people as I can. The world needs to know the quality of people we have serving in Iraq.

My deepest condolences to the Peralta family."
Joanne Nanna of Dumfries, VA, USA

"When a tiger dies, he leaves his skin. When a man dies, he leaves his name.
Mr. Rafael Peralta will be remembered as a selfless hero, the kind of person we all strive to be but only a few of us achieve. Your memory will live forever in all of us and through your actions you will still be teaching us long after your departure."
Jose M Vazquez of Miami, Florida

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Rafael, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Rafael's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice. Que el Señor les cuide y les de fortaleza.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Para la familia de Rafael Peralta:
Mis mas sentido pesame por la muerte de un heroe como Rafael Peralta,
Que Dios lo tenga en la gloria y a ustedes los ayude a calmar un dolor tan fuerte."
Marina Navea (viuda del Spc. Rafael Navea). of Florida

"To Rafael's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To The Family & Friends oF SGT Rafael Peralta - I did not know this Marine - but I will never forget him or his sacrifice - I received an e-mail from a friend of mine who is a retired Marine that told the story of this fine young man & it moved me. There is a line in the e-mail that says Remember that you are still here - tell your children, grandchildren about SGT Peralta." & I intend to. May God Bless all of you & Comfort you during this most difficult time."
Amy of Germany

"Thank You for the gift of Freedom. I will honor it in your memory."
P Bell of Macon,Ga

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Rafael Peralta,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca

"Thank you Rafael Peralta, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Rafael Peralta:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Rafael for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Rafael Peralta:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Rafael, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on