The USS Rafael Peralta is the first US Navy Destroyer named after Marine Born in Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C.– On Saturday, October 31, the U.S. Navy will christen a guided-missile destroyer that will bear the name, USS Rafael Peralta. The U.S. navy warship will be named after a marine who was killed in Iraq when he covered a grenade with his body to protect his fellow marines.

The USS Rafael Peralta will be the first navy vessel named after a person born in Mexico. In response to the honor, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr., issued the following statement: 

“LULAC applauds the actions of the U.S. Navy to christen the new navy destroyer in honor of Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Born in Mexico and raised in the United States, Peralta’s service exemplifies the profound patriotism that our immigrant population feels towards our country. His heroic sacrifice demonstrates his deep commitment to protect the ideals of what the United States represents – freedom and equality. 

Peralta’s service and this subsequent honor represent the contributions Latinos have been making with their service in the armed forces. LULAC salutes the contributions of all our servicemen, both past and present, and urges all branches of the armed forces to continue to recognize the valiant efforts and accomplishments of Latinos.”


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit,, and


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