RAFAEL PERALTA Sailors Attend Dedication Ceremony for Wounded Warrior Battalion (West) Headquarters in Honor of Namesake
Sailors from Precommissioning Unit RAFAEL PERALTA (DDG 115) traveled to Camp Pendleton 23 July to witness the Wounded Warrior Battalion (West) Headquarters dedication ceremony in honor of Sgt Rafael Peralta. COL Martin, Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations, Plans, and Training) at Camp Pendleton, and former Commanding Officer of Wounded Warrior Battalion (West), served as keynote speaker for the event. He described the process that led to the naming of the complex after Sgt Peralta. He described how the selection committee wanted a heroic Marine who had served in and been wounded during the current conflict, a local to the San Diego area, and with whom Marines and Sailors that come through Wounded Warrior Battalion could relate. Sgt Peralta clearly stood out among all criteria.
LTCol Dwyer, CO of Wounded Warrior Battalion (West), made the official dedication of the sprawling complex in a courtyard in front of the Headquarters Rotunda after Ricardo Peralta, Sgt Rafael Peralta’s brother (and also a former Marine) spoke on behalf of the Peralta family. Dwyer also unveiled a hand-painted portrait of Sgt Peralta that will hang just inside the Rotunda.
Sgt Peralta was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross after taking critical gunshot wounds and later grabbing a live grenade and absorbing the blast with his body, saving the lives of his fellow Marines during the second battle for Fallujah in November 2004. Wounded Warrior Battalion (West) is tasked with rehabilitating Marines and Navy Sailors (and their families) after suffering severe injury and/or mental trauma in order to return them to service or future success in life after military service.
DDG 115 is currently under construction in Bath, Maine, and is scheduled for commissioning in 2017.