Wounded Marine visits Manteca family of fallen friend | News
MANTECA, CA - It was a hero's welcome to a severely wounded Marine as hundreds of people greeted Lance Corporal Ronny Porta at the Stockton Municipal Airport. Hundreds more lined the streets of Manteca and Ripon waving American flags and shouting "thank you" to the Marine Saturday afternoon.
Lance Corporal Ronny Porta is not from the San Joaquin Valley. He's here to pay his respects to the family of his fallen friend, NC Corporal Charles Palmer II of Manteca.
"He saved my life so many times," said LCpl Porta.
"I needed to do this. Meeting Corporal Palmer's dad helped release the pain."
Porta was the driver of the humvee that hit an improvised explosive device on May 5, 2007 in Iraq. The explosion killed NC Cpl Palmer and another Marine. Porta survived with 80 percent of his body burned. He was in a San Antonio hospital for 54 months and underwent 130 surgeries.
"It's not necessarily closure, but it's our connection," said Charles Palmer, father to fallen NC Cpl Palmer. "He's helping us heal and we thank God he's here."