Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua "Chachi" Corral will be honored by the town of Danville and the Semper Fi Foundation when they dedicate a bronze Fallen Hero Memorial statue outside the newly renovated Veterans Memorial Building at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 23. The dedication will be followed by a celebration at the Danville Town Green at 420 Front St.
Chachi Corral, a 2010 graduate of San Ramon Valley High School, was killed in action Nov. 18 during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"The community has embraced our family with love, prayers, meals and donations beyond our belief," said Chachi's mother, Denise Corral. "We look forward to holding this event as a way of saying thank you to the community that has been so supportive."
Two days prior to his death, Chachi was able to telephone his parents, Denise and Arnie Corral, and expressed concern for his fellow Marines. The Corrals said they wanted to follow through with Chachi's wishes to support the needs of other Marines, and the Semper Fi Foundation was formed in December, just one month after Chachi was killed.
"The purpose of the foundation is to help Marine families in several areas: health and wellness, literacy, online family resources, and keeping the public aware of the tremendous sacrifice our military members make to protect our freedom and liberty," said Semper Fi Director Len Hack, the father of one of Chachi's best friends. "Chachi made the ultimate sacrifice and we, as a community, will never forget him."
When the Corrals returned from Travis Air Force Base with their son's remains Nov. 28, there were 150 American flags and even more Valley residents lining the streets of downtown Danville to view the funeral procession of more than 100 vehicles.
An evening vigil was held Nov. 22 at Oak Hill Park, plus about 1,200 family, friends, teachers and veterans attended a Memorial Service on Nov. 30 before he was buried at Oakmont Cemetery in Lafayette.
"The encouragement and support that we have received has been amazing," said Arnie Corral, Chachi's father. "We are so blessed to live in a place that would respond as it has, rallying to honor our son, recognizing the sacrifice he made for all of us."
The dedication ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave., will be followed by a mariachi processional to the Danville Town Green. There will be food, music and family activities at 11 a.m., a program at noon, and live music at 1 p.m.
Anyone who would like to donate to the effort or give a raffle item or volunteer can contact fundraising director June Johnstone at 640-4009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.