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Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a platoon guide with Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st MEU, who selflessly gave his life to save those he was serving with, was awarded the Navy Cross, the country’s second highest award. Peralta was killed during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, when after being mortally wounded, smothered a grenade thrown at him and his Marines with his body. The 31st MEU is America’s only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the nation’s force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. The MEU honors the meaning of Memorial Day through its commitment to being always ready and remembering the sacrifice of those who have given all. - Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a platoon guide with Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 31st MEU, who selflessly gave his life to save those he was serving with, was awarded the Navy Cross, the country’s second highest award. Peralta was killed during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, when after being mortally wounded, smothered a grenade thrown at him and his Marines with his body. The 31st MEU is America’s only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the nation’s force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. The MEU honors the meaning of Memorial Day through its commitment to being always ready and remembering the sacrifice of those who have given all.

Throughout America’s history, Hispanics have distinguished themselves in their service to the nation and the Marine Corps, some giving their lives in the defense of the freedoms all Americans enjoy. One such Marine is Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who made the ultimate sacrifice Nov. 15, 2004, while his unit was attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Iraq. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. Prior to receiving the nation’s second highest award for valor, Peralta received several other honors, including the honorary title of San Diego police officer April 24, 2006, and the dedication of the 31st MEU’s Command Post building on Camp Hansen in his name Sept. 21, 2007. - Throughout America’s history, Hispanics have distinguished themselves in their service to the nation and the Marine Corps, some giving their lives in the defense of the freedoms all Americans enjoy. One such Marine is Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who made the ultimate sacrifice Nov. 15, 2004, while his unit was attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Iraq. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. Prior to receiving the nation’s second highest award for valor, Peralta received several other honors, including the honorary title of San Diego police officer April 24, 2006, and the dedication of the 31st MEU’s Command Post building on Camp Hansen in his name Sept. 21, 2007.

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit