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It’s been eight years since her brother’s death, but instead of having time to grieve, Icela Donald and her family have been busy defending his honor.
Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta died when he was caught in crossfire during an assault in Fallujah, Iraq eight years ago.
After clearing houses the previous three days, he agreed to join an under-manned squad and volunteered to stand post during the night of Nov. 14, 2004, which allowed his fellow Marines some time to rest.
During the assault, insurgents threw a fragmentation grenade and witnesses report that Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body. Peralta absorbed the brunt of the blast, shielding his fellow Marines only feet away.
“He left a big whole in my heart and it’s really been tough to deal with that but at the same time I’m really proud of him,” she said. “Being Hispanic and being recognized in this country it’s pretty big.”
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