Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marine Lance Cpl. Javier Perales Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Javier Perales Jr., 19, of San Elizario, Texas

LCpl. Perales was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 11, 2008 from a non-hostile incident in Anbar province, Iraq.

KFox TV -- EL PASO, Texas -- Lance Cpl. Javier Perales Jr. had just started his tour of duty in Iraq two months ago. His family in San Elizario didn't want to talk about his death. The Department of Defense announced Monday, he died on June 11, from a non-hostile incident in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

In San Elizario, the community more often hears about someone joining the service than they do someone dying while in the service.

"It's shocking. It's hitting really close to home," said San Elizario Fire Capt. Robert Lopez.

Lopez feels a sense of sadness to find out someone from the community joined the Marines and didn't come home. Like most people in this town, Lopez connects with those in the military even if he never got to know them.

"My dad was in the military, my uncles, my brother, my father-in-law. We're a big military family," said Lopez.

Some may say San Elizario is a military town. Historians say the town was originally a fort and the town is named after the patron saint of the soldiers, San Elizario. Inside the San Elizario Mission, the memory of the residents of this town who served in wars lives on.

"We are recognizing their efforts and of course some of them died, including my mother's brother," said Lillian Trujillo, a resident of San Elizario.

She said San Elizario sons and daughters wish to follow in their parents' footsteps.

"Everyone learns from their ancestors and they want to continue the tradition," said Trujillo.

But sometimes the tradition doesn't have a happy ending.

"Putting their names up there makes the veterans and the family of the veterans know that they're not forgotten. That's one thing we need to do. We must never forget them because freedom isn't free," said Lopez.

There will be a service here at the mission for Perales on Monday.

Marine Lance Cpl. Javier Perales Jr. was killed in a non-combat related incident on 6/11/08.

1 comment:

hilda said...

This Hero was one of my best friends. Thank you for honoring him!