DANVILLE (CBS SF) – A 19-year-old Marine from Danville was killed in Afghanistan Friday, the second Bay Area war casualty in as many days.
Joshua Corral, a 2010 graduate of San Ramon Valley High School, was killed Friday while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, according to a Defense Department statement Monday.
Community members who knew Corral welcomed his family back Monday from the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where they received their son’s body. Corral’s body is expected to be flown home next week.
KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:
Turner Stanton, a San Ramon Valley High junior, helped recruit fellow students and other locals to welcome home the Corral family Monday afternoon and to donate flowers, meals and gifts.
Supporters met at Bountiful Court Monday afternoon, lining the road near the family’s home.
Stanton said that while he never knew Corral personally, he knows the teen’s uncle, James Corral, an assistant principal at a Danville middle school, and wanted to rally support for the family.
“It’s a tough time for them, and I want to make sure people know that this is an amazing community,” Stanton said.
Corral played freshman football at the high school, and his death was announced to the crowd attending Friday night’s home game against Castro Valley.
“Everybody’s devastated here because he was a nice, nice, nice, nice boy,” Danville City Councilman Mike Doyle said Saturday when reached by phone. Doyle had reported Corral’s death on Friday.
Former classmates and teammates described Corral as a “really good kid” and from a “really, really great family.”
Flags at Danville’s Town Hall have been lowered to half-staff in honor of Corral, town Councilman Robert Storer said.
Storer said Corral, who was known as “Chachi” by friends and family, had grown up playing sports with his son and would have turned 20 around Christmas.
He said the local chapter of Blue Star Moms has lent its support to the Corral family.
“I don’t think a community could ever prepare for this type of catastrophe … but I think Danville will probably show at the end of the day what their community means to them at this time of need,” he said.
Community members and town leaders are also planning to remember Corral on Tuesday at a candlelight vigil scheduled for 6 p.m. near the All Wars Memorial monument at Oak Hill Park, Stanton said.
“The Corral family is loved by many, many people in the town of Danville,” said Peggy Conklin, president and co-founder of the San Ramon-based Blue Star Moms, a support group for military families. “You really see that right now because (the community) is doing whatever is needed to take care of them.”
Conklin knows all too well what it’s like to have children serving overseas.
“My son is in Afghanistan and I would like him to be home,” she explained. “I’m looking forward to the day when they’re not in harm’s way and back with their families.”
Corral was serving his first tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed, a Defense Department spokesman said Monday.
Sean Walsh, a 21-year-old California National Guard soldier from San Jose, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Khost Province, the Department of Defense announced Friday.
Walsh died from injuries suffered when he encountered indirect fire during combat operations.
He was the second California National Guardsman to be killed in action in Afghanistan.
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