"This year has been especially hard for our family," said his sister, Aurora Alamillo. "He missed his first Christmas, his first Mother's Day. Even though he was already in his mid-20s when he joined, he was still my little brother."
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, his family moved to the United States when he was 1. A student at Glendale High School and Glendale Community College, "Pete" joined the Marine Corps in March 2008, was promoted to lance corporal in December and was crewman in a light-armored vehicle.
He was deployed in June to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, and died July 11 alongside Master Sgt. Jerome D. Hatfield, 36, of Axton, Va. Barboza Flores was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in the 2nd Marine Division for the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
His bereaved family joined hundreds of people Monday at Isabel Street and East Broadway in Glendale. Master of Ceremonies Larry Zarian, noting the historically large crowd, recognized a large contingent of veterans on hand before turning his attention to families who lost loved ones.
"I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am, how appreciative I am, on behalf of our committee and on behalf of the veterans that are here today," Zarian said. "There are veterans out in the audience that are injured from their time in the service. And there are those that would rather be here today, but they're not, and their names are on the walls instead."
Mayor Ara Najarian followed the color guard, flag salute and prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action memorial, presented by retired Lt. Col. Dave Worley, of the U.S. Air Force, with a special note to a group of veterans whose uniforms had an unusual look.