Memorial held in Danville for fallen Marine

November 30, 2011 6:23:56 PM PST
A fallen marine was laid to rest in the East Bay Wednesday; a young man whose death has hit an entire town especially hard. Lance Cpl. Joshua Corral was only 19 when he died in Afghanistan's Helmand Province on Nov. 18.

Corral grew up in the Danville community and graduated from San Ramon Valley High School. The school has set up a heart-shaped flag memorial on the lawn. Those who spoke at his memorial service Wednesday say it's not every day someone so young has such a tremendous impact on so many people.

Corral, whose nickname was "Chachi," was born in the city of Danville five days after Christmas in 1991. His pastor called him a gift to the community. His nickname was bestowed upon him by his baby brother who had trouble pronouncing his first name.

Family members say Corral loved sports, but he also knew early on that he wanted to join the military and make a difference by serving his country. His friends and family said that mission was accomplished.

"It's not how big he lived his life, but how rich and meaningful his life actually was," said friend Brock Marcotte. "He always saw the bigger picture, that tomorrow is not today. He was always leading and never following because he chose his own path, his own way of life instead of others' who could not see, could follow him and see new light in this world."

Hundreds of people, including fellow Marines and veterans, came to the East Bay Fellowship Church for the memorial. It was a quiet but joyful ceremony in honor of the 19-year-old Marine who loved ones call a true man.

Corral is being laid to rest in a Lafayette cemetery.


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