Hawaii News Ship named for Kaneohe Marine By Star-Advertiser staff Sept. 30, 2013 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! COURTESY U.S. NAVYRosa Peralta Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. A Kaneohe Marine who died while shielding fellow Marines from a grenade blast during the 2004 battle for Fallujah in Iraq was honored during a ship-naming ceremony earlier this month at San Diego Naval Base. The Navy named an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a member of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Destroyers are traditionally named after Navy heros. Peralta’s mother, Rose, and younger brother, Lance Cpl. Ricardo Peralta, attended the ceremony Sept. 20. “It’s really emotional for the family because his nomination for the Medal of Honor has now been turned down more than once,” Ricardo Peralta said in a Department of Defense article. “But we know that there’s not a single decoration or medal that they can give him that will make us more proud. We’re proud to the fullest.” The family is still seeking to have Peralta receive the Medal of Honor. The Navy recommended Peralta receive the Medal of Honor, but then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates reviewed the case and honored the Marine with the Navy Cross instead. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declined to reverse Gates’ decision last year. Peralta was fatally shot during house-to-house fighting during the second battle of Fallujah. Kaneohe Marines who entered the house with Peralta said his last act was to pull an enemy grenade to his body after he had been wounded. They said the act saved their lives. “That kind of heroism, that kind of love for his fellow men, did not fall on deaf ears,” Lt. Gen. John Toolan, commanding general of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said at the ceremony. “And by naming this ship today, we remember that kind of heroism.” Ricardo Peralta, an infantryman like his brother, is assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, in California. “At his wake I held his hands and promised him that I would join the Marine Corps for him, and not just join the military, but go into the infantry,” Peralta said. “In boot camp there are classes where his Navy Cross citation is read, so every Marine hears about him.” Burke-class destroyers, at a cost of $1.8 million each, are designed for anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare. They can also attack land targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles. It was unclear where the USS Peralta will be based. Previous Story 911 Report Next Story Heroes reuniting in 'triumph'