WHEREAS, Rafael Peralta, a Mexican-American who lived in San Diego, California, wanted to join the Marine Corps after graduating from high school in San Diego in 1997; and

WHEREAS, Peralta was a Mexican citizen who had to wait until 2000 to receive his legal residency and become a U.S. citizen; and

WHEREAS, Peralta joined the Marine Corps and was assigned to the Kaneohe’s 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines Regiment in November 2003, which arrived to Iraq in October 2004; and

WHEREAS, the Kaneohe Marines’ mission was to clear the city of insurgents building by building, Peralta was hit several times in the upper torso and face at point-blank range by a fully automatic 7.62 mm weapon employed by three terrorists. Mortally wounded, he jumped into the already cleared adjoining room, giving the rest of the Marines a clear line of fire; and

WHEREAS, fellow Marines battled the insurgents that shot Peralta, when a live grenade bounced into the room near the severely wounded Marine; and

WHEREAS, Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade into his body protecting the lives of several fellow Kaneohe Marines; and

WHEREAS, Peralta was a platoon scout in the Kaneohe unit, which meant he could have stayed back in safety while the squads of the 1st Platoon went into danger-filled streets. But Peralta was constantly asking to help; and

WHEREAS, Peralta was killed on November 15, 2004, during the second battle of Fallujah. He was one of the 42 Marines and 2 Navy corpsmen assigned to the 1st Battalion who were killed in the unit’s first deployment to Iraq; and

WHEREAS, Cpl. Richard A. Mason said to other Marines in recognition of Sgt. Peralta’s actions, “You’re still here, don’t forget that. Tell your kids, your grand kids, what Sgt. Peralta did for you and the other Marines today;” and

WHEREAS, a spokesman for the Marine Base in Hawaii confirmed that the name of Peralta, 25, had been submitted for the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of four members of his platoon;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Congress awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to Sgt. Rafael Peralta USMC for his heroic deeds beyond the call of duty with intrepidity.

Approved this 14th day of July 2007.

Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

LULAC  l  2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610  l  Washington, DC 20036  l  (202) 833-6130  Fax: (202) 833-6135