Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.
Ralph was so passionate about our country, our freedoms, and our safety that he joined the Army in 2003. He obtained a special waiver to enlist since he was over the age of thirty. Once through boot camp, he became an infantry paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He requested to be deployed and served three tours of duty between Iraq and Afghanistan. He loved being a soldier. He took his duty as a sergeant seriously. He was passionate about serving the men he led and served with. He was an advocate for all his fellow soldiers.
Sgt. Ralph Porras
Ralph swam in the water when a boy,
He played games with friends and favorite toys.
These boyhood years quickly flew,
His courage and strength would see him through.
From boy to man he became,
Then 9-11 called his name.
He went to enlist, his age chances were slim.
He felt his country needed him.
He joined the Army and marched away,
For many a night and many a day.
When the fighting was long and hot,
He would remember the people he loved a lot.
Would he hear his country's far off song?
A welcoming place where we belong.
Man or soldier in peace or unrest,
He loved his country and gave his best.
Chaplain Major Jeffery D. Hawkins of Ralph's unit had this to say at the funeral. At the age of 33 Ralph found what he was meant to do, being a soldier. Ralph needed to be needed. His greatest joy was in helping others. He was always scouting out other soldiers who didn't have anyone to write to or weren't getting any letters. He would write home and ask his friends to send that soldier some care packages, even if that soldier wasn't part of his unit. That was the radar of compassion he had. Ralph also loved to talk. Sometimes more than people could bear. A soldier once said "He could talk the paint off a pole." When school children sent him a packet of letters as a class project, he didn't write the class as a whole. He wrote each student. The day before was killed a young soldier said " they were under mortar attack and he was pulled to safety by a loud non-commissioned officer by the name of Ralph Porras." Ralph's own words " Freedom has a taste that those who never fought for it will never know."