- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Johnny J. Peralez Jr.
Died January 5, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
25, of Kingsville, Texas; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Jan. 5 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during convoy operations in Najaf, Iraq. Also killed were: Maj. William F. Hecker III, Capt. Christopher P. Petty, Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White and Pvt. Robbie M. Mariano.
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Texas soldier killed in Iraq
A Texas soldier was among five servicemen killed by an explosion during convoy operations in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Friday night.
Sgt. Johnny J. Peralez Jr., 25, of Kingsville, died in Najaf when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle, the military said.
He and the other four soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
Also killed were Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, Va.; Maj. William F. Hecker III, 37, of St. Louis; Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White, 39, of Talladega, Ala. and Pvt. Robbie M. Mariano, 21, of Stockton, Calif.
— Associated Press
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Slain Texas soldier saw Army as his calling
FALFURRIAS, Texas — As a student at Falfurrias High School, Johnny J. Peralez Jr. played alto sax and performed in plays, so many thought he would continue his focus on the arts.
Instead, Peralez joined the Army a year after graduating and became a combat medic, earning the rank of sergeant. Peralez later said he wanted to make the military his career because it was his calling, his family said through a spokeswoman.
Peralez, 25, was on his second tour in Iraq when he was killed Thursday by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his military vehicle in Najaf, the Department of Defense said. He was among five servicemen from Fort Hood killed in the blast.
The five were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
While in high school, Peralez lived with his grandmother, Carmen Arellano, in Falfurrias. His friend and former neighbor, Cristina Ruiz, 24, called him the “nicest, funniest, best friend I’ve ever had.”
“We lived about five feet apart, and we were always trying to make each other laugh,” said Ruiz, who was on the tennis team with Peralez in high school.
After joining the Army, Peralez, of Kingsville, served in Germany and Kosovo and was among the first contingent of American troops in Afghanistan. He also served 14 months in Iraq before returning for a second tour in November, his family said.
Before leaving for his second Iraq tour, Peralez visited his family and girlfriend, Luisa Reyes of Dallas. At the time, he told he had “found his calling” in the Army, a family spokeswoman said.
Peralez is survived by his mother, Virginia Garcia; his father, Johnny J. Peralez Sr. of Lockney; a sister, Nina Kristine Peralez of Dallas; brothers, Romeo Villa of Killeen and Jessie Rene Peralez of Lockney; grandparents Jose and Tomasa Peralez of Lockney; and grandfather, Pedro Vasquez of Premont.
Also killed in the attack with Peralez were Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, Va.; Maj. William F. Hecker III, 37, of St. Louis; Sgt. 1st Class Stephen J. White, 39, of Talladega, Ala. and Pvt. Robbie M. Mariano, 21, of Stockton, Calif.
— Associated Press