His brother, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, is one of the Marine Corps heroes of Iraq -- a leader who smothered a grenade to save his fellow Marines during the 2004 battle for Fallouja.
Now Ricardo Peralta, 19, is following in his brother's path as a Marine private first class bound for the 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment at Twentynine Palms to begin training for deployment to Afghanistan.
It's the fulfillment of a promise that Ricardo made at his brother's funeral.
That promise would've been made when Ricardo was merely 13 yrs. old. How many of us would have the courage, honor and sense of self-sacrifice to follow through on something like that, especially at such a young age?
Side note: Rafael was born in Mexico. The linked article did not mention whether or not he was a U.S. citizen. The armed forces has a naturalization program for legal immigrants of which we are strongly in favor.
Just a couple weeks back, here in San Diego, the flight deck of the retired aircraft carrier, USS MIDWAY, was the site of a citizenship ceremony for 300 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. We'll see if we can dig up the story with some background on the program.