I recently had the honor of being invited aboard the USS Rafael Peralta DDG 115 at the Naval Station San Diego. The USS Rafael Peralta is named after Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Sgt. Peralta and his squad came under intense close range automatic weapons fire. Sgt. Peralta was mortally wounded and as the insurgents fled, they threw a fragmentation grenade behind them. The grenade landed near Sgt. Peralta's head and with complete disregard for his own life, Sgt. Peralta pulled the grenade under his own body, saving his fellow squad mates. Sgt. Peralta died that morning in Fallujah on November 15, 2014, at the age of 25, just four years after becoming a United States citizen and enlisting in the Marine Corp. His life was one of heroism and his memory and sacrifice lives on with the honor of a ship that bears his name.
Ian is a Navy officer and he and his beautiful wife Rachel, decided to take their family portraits on this ship. It was a humbling experience to be invited aboard and I had a wonderful time photographing this lovely family.