Chula Vista proclaims Tuesday Sgt. Rafael Peralta Day

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Chula Vista city officials proclaimed Tuesday, June 16 has Rafael Peralta Day.

The Marine sergeant died in Iraq in 2004 when a grenade exploded underneath his body and saved the lives of his troops.

Peralta was expected to receive the Medal of Honor, but instead his family accepted the second-highest award, the Navy Cross last week.

Tuesday’s ceremony had the Peralta family deeply moved.

“I felt the same amount of pride since I heard he passed away...There’s nothing that can make me feel more proud anymore,” said Ricardo Peralta, brother of the fallen Marine.

Peralta has received several posthumous honors, including naming a destroyer the USS Peralta.