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May 2006

Memorial Day - Sergeant Rafael Peralta

SGT Rafael Peralta, USMC 4/7/1979 - 11/15/2004 "Our Loving Hero"
Photo taken by Smash (click on image for larger version).

The words to "Taps" are:

Day Is Done,
Gone the Sun,
From the Earth,
From the Hill,
From the Sky,
All Is Well,
Safely Rest,
God Is Nigh

When Taps is played at dusk, it has a completely different meaning than when Taps is played during the day.  No soldier really wants to hear it played during daylight.  For when the bugle plays Taps in the daylight...that means a soldier has fallen...There is a belief among some that Taps is the clarion call to open the gates of heaven for the fallen warrior and letting them know to "Safely Rest"...

Marine Sergeant Rafael Peralta earned his rest the hard way.  His name should be discussed more often than the celebrities of the day...

Sergeant Peralta was from Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment - his job was that of leading the scout section.  In November of 2004, Peralta was 25 years old and not an American citizen.  He joined the Marines on the very day that he received his green card.  He later earned his citizenship as a Marine.

On November 15, 2004, the Marines were busy clearing houses in the Battle for Fallujah.  Peralta, as scout team leader, was responsible for locating the enemy and directly ground forces to destroy them.  He was not supposed join in the assaults inside the homes.

However, Rafael Peralta was not the kind of guy to stand around watching things happen.  He wanted to make things happen.  He routinely requested to join the assault teams entering the insurgent filled houses.

During the fateful assault on the 15th, after clearing three houses, Peralta lead the charge into the fourth house, finding two rooms empty on the ground floor.  Upon opening a third door, Peralta was hit multiple times with AK-47 fire - severely wounded, he dropped to the floor and moved away in order to give the Marines behind him an opportunity to fire on the insurgents. 

As the battle continued, the insurgents lobbed a grenade at the Marines.  Two Marines were trapped in the room with Peralta.  When they saw the grenade, they tried to get out of the blast area but were trapped.

Peralta, bleeding out on the floor, reached for the grenade and pulled it to his midsection, cradling the grenade before it cooked off.

The grenaded exploded, killing Peralta and critically wounding another Marine, the others all survived because Peralta absorbed the majority of the lethal blast.

Google news on Peralta and you'll find only a few items.  You'll find more from around the time of the Battle of Fallujah but not much esle.   Rafael Peralta doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry.

But my kids will know Rafael Peralta - I'll make sure of it.

Ben Stein has a great column today:

They Did God's Work
By Ben Stein  
Published 5/26/2006 11:59:59 PM

Remarks delivered on Saturday evening in Arlington, Virginia, at the Memorial Day weekend seminar and grief camp of TAPS -- the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Wall Street does not have it. Hollywood does not have it. They're just in it for the fame and the money.

Your loved ones were in it for unselfishness, for kindness, for love of one's fellow man. There is no higher meaning on this earth.

The media try to rob your husbands' and wives' and kids' lives of meaning saying this war is not about anything.

They're wrong and they say what they say because they don't see the truth. They print a story on the front page about Marines killing civilians in a town in Iraq and if they did, it was wrong. But the big media never report a MARINE throwing himself on a bomb to protect an Iraqi child, or a Marine giving his life to rid a town of murderers or a Marine or an Army man or woman or a Navy Seal or a Coast Guardsman offering up his life so that Iraqi human beings can have the same freedoms and rights we take for granted here in America.

The media are like grave robbers, robbing you of the certain knowledge that your spouses gave their lives for something deeply worthwhile: human dignity.

Your loved ones' lives and deaths had as much meaning at the lives and deaths of every American who died for freedom from Valley Forge to the Battle of the Bulge to Cho-Sin Reservoir to the Cu Chi tunnels to the Balkans to Kabul, Afghanistan, to Falluja, Iraq.

And if the media doesn't know it, every other American does. This is a very difficult fight, but the ordinary American knows what your loved ones have done and respects them...

Damn right, Ben.

Godspeed Rafael Peralta and safely rest.

May God Bless the families that lost loved ones on this Memorial Day.  They need our prayers and thoughts right now.

[thanks to Smash for the photo and the opportunity to tell Sergeant Peralta's story again]

Did General Pace Cover Up Haditha?

Via Fuzzilicious Thinking, John Murtha smears Marine General Peter Pace:

ABC News:  Murtha: Marine Murder in Iraq?
..."That's what we're trying to find out," he said. "It goes right up the chain of command right up to General Pace. … Did he know about it? Did he cover it up? I'm sure he didn't, but we need to find out."...

First, the headline is wrong.  Murtha is not asking a question.  He's telling everyone that he can talk to that the Marines committed murder. 

Next, he's a seasoned politician and expert at smearing people.  Notice how he takes a swipe at the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and then softens the blow?

It's difficult to fight the likes of Murtha on this ground - (1) the Marines will be tried and the court will decide guilt or innocence but Murtha's already staked out the guilty ground and (2) he has access to mass media - This Week had two segments about Haditha.  Two.  Segments.

What to do about it?

Support Diana Irey - she's taking on John Murtha for his congressional seat.

And keep abreast of what the Marines have been doing in Haditha.  Most of you won't be surprised to find out that they don't go on rampages...

Riehl World View:  The History of Haditha

Memorial Day, Part 3

The adage that an army travels on its stomach is only partly true. You see, any military lives or dies on its logistics: food, fuel, ammo, spare parts, replacements, and more. Keeping any group supplied is critical, for not only can you not afford to screw up your logistics but you also have to know that the enemy is going to do its best -- if it has a brain -- to hurt your logistics efforts as much as possible. My Uncle James knew of that first hand.

Continue reading "Memorial Day, Part 3" »

Memorial Day - Video Tributes

I'm going to point you a few video tributes to view this Memorial Day...they have a Blackfive reference, too.

Remember Bobby Warns... amazing video tribute is here - http://bobbywarns.com/viewvideo.html.

Remember Windy 25 - this video was sent to me from 12th AVN BDE and is about all of the Fallen Soldiers of the 12th which includes Windy 25.  It was made by  Chris Koth and I put it on YouTube for you to see:

Thank You Fort Benning Drill Sergeants...

...for if it wasn't for you, Jesse MacBeth would have been a soldier.  This Bud's for you!

Background on Jesse MacBeth here.

McQ at QandO has more - His DD214 shows a discharge before completing training and entering the Army.  He couldn't cut it.  Of course, Uncle Jimbo saw through the thinly veiled facade, too.

Possibly the one mistake I made was just labeling the photo of Jesse in *cough* uniform as "laughable" - meaning that just about any vet would know the guy was a fake.  I almost blew off the whole debate because I thought it was just TOO apparent.  Of course, that was not the case as Jesse was quickly becoming the poster boy for the anti-war extreme left wing...but why would they embrace such an obvious fake?

Now Greyhawk at MilBlogs makes the excellent point that the IVAW (Iraq Vets Against the War) is taking a page from the John Kerry Playbook:

...No veteran could fail to spot MacBeth as a phony - it took about 3 seconds. But IVAW couldn't do it until after he was outed by milbloggers.

Draw your own conclusions.

Update: Here's an IVAW video on YouTube featuring other members of that organization confessing to war crimes. None of the guys actually killed civilians, they just heard about others who did. That's why Jesse appealed so strongly to them - he not only said he'd actually seen crimes committed, he said he killed children himself. And the script that Jesse and these guys are following is that the standing orders were to shoot anything that moves after an IED attack. Their purpose is to establish that the Marines were acting under orders from "on high"...

This is exactly why I said that MilBlogs will ensure "No more Vietnams..." at the MilBlog conference in DC last month.  "No more Vietnams" in the sense that we won't let the new John Kerry(s) lie and attempt to destroy an entire generation of veterans, the honorable mission of freeing Iraq and Afghanistan, and the legacy of our efforts.

El Debarge not much of a forger either

Allah asks and we deliver.Macbethdischarge Is this our little clown's discharge paperwork?

The answer is EL NO! The first and disqualifying lameness is Ranger Qualified Qualifyed under primary specialty, misspelled and inappropriate for that block.

I am calling the game there and I am sure we will have 71 Limas galore clerk debunking this pathetic rag.

And I speak as a serial document forger, OMG I shudder to think at the vast quantity of leave papers, and liberty passes and badges I made over the years to further the cause of freedom, justice and the American Way.

I still occasionally do the deed as when me and Ebo ambushed George Galloway for some quite entertaining discourse using fake but accurate homemade press credentials.

Anyhow back to flaquito, this is simply more of the same kindergarten quality posing.

50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs.....What?

When my favorite publication National Review announced they would name the 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs, I was instantly skeptical.

I mean what could be less conservative than Rock and Roll, and I feared for the outcome. Gladly I was wrong and it turns out they came up with a pretty interesting list. The idea was that a song should highlight a conservative value and they did an admirable job. But the number one song sealed the deal for me.

The Who's "Won't get fooled again" takes the prize, and a quick look at the lyrics pegs it as a great anthem to distrust and disdain for politicians of all stripes.

Lyrics, politician-bashing and a look at the redesign of madison.com's blogs. Commentary is welcomed and any glitches that you notice.