|Los Angeles Times - Free Registration Required (SAN DIEGO DEC. 06)
Sgt. Rafael Peralta is dead, but the story of his sacrifice to save fellow Marines will live long in Marine Corps lore. In the fierce battle for the Iraqi town of Fallouja, Peralta, with gunshot wounds to his head and body, reached out and grabbed a grenade hurled by an insurgent, cradling it to his body to save others from the blast. The explosion in the back room of a house injured one Marine, but four others managed to scramble to safety. Peralta, 25, an immigrant from Mexico who enlisted the day he got his green card work permit, was declared dead en route to a field hospital.