Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. --John 15:13
You must read the whole thing, but this excerpt will get you started:
Rafael Peralta was 25 years old, a Mexican immigrant from
who had enlisted in the Marines as soon as he became a legal resident. He earned his citizenship while on active duty and re-upped in 2004. He was a Marine to the core, so meticulous that when Alpha Company was training in San Diego , he would send his camouflage uniform out to be pressed. Kuwait
He was no less passionate about his adopted country: His bedroom wall was adorned with a picture of his boot camp graduation and replicas of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
Below, I shared the story of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, who is the first Medal of Honor winner in the Iraq war. After you read Sergeant Peralta's story, you'll probably agree with me that he may well be one of the next recipients of that medal.
UPDATE: Ralph Kostant directed me to this story. In his comment below, Ralph correctly observes:
In the debate over immigration to our country, we must always remember that the issue is illegal immigration, not the nation of origin of the immigrants. Sergeant Rafael Peralta, a naturalized citizen and the son of a naturalized citizen, was a legal immigrant from Mexico. He showed his gratitude to his adopted country by serving it with his last full measure of devotion. Would that we had a million more like him!Yes.