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Marine’s Navy Cross not upgraded to Medal of Honor

A congressman from California vows he will still fight for a fallen isle sergeant

By Associated Press


SAN DIEGO >> The secretary of defense has denied a request to upgrade a fallen Kaneohe Bay Marine’s Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor, a San Diego congressman’s office said Wednesday.

The Pentagon told Rep. Duncan Hunter it supports the decision of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who honored Sgt. Rafael Peralta with the Navy Cross instead of the military’s highest honor.

Peralta, a member of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, was not conscious when his body smothered a grenade in Iraq on Nov. 15, 2004, saving the lives of other Marines, Gates ruled in 2008.

Peralta’s platoon had been involved in a house-to-house battle with insurgents during the second battle of Fallujah.

The case was reopened this year after Hunter obtained a video of the battle action and a new forensics report. The lawmaker said the new evidence proved Peralta’s actions were intentional.

But defense officials found the new evidence was not sufficient to change the decision, said Joe Kasper, Hunter’s spokesman.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Nate Christensen said he could not discuss the case, citing Defense Department policy to not comment on Medal of Honor nominations under consideration.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters during a visit to Camp Pendleton last week that he had recommended Peralta be honored with the Medal of Honor.

Peralta’s family was informed of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision on Wednesday, Kasper said.

Hunter’s office told them the congressman, a former combat Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, would continue to fight to get the medal upgraded.

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retire wrote:
given the current climate, I'm sure he would have gotten it if he were gay.
on December 13,2012 | 09:21AM
mrluke wrote:
Seems as if this current generation will never be happy until every award they get is upgraded. Just suck it up and try to be a little humble.
on December 13,2012 | 09:45AM
DABLACK wrote:
As a veteran of (36) years service, I am truly embarrassed by the action/non-action of the sec of defense. We need to protest and have him removed from office. He is not "God" for Chris's sake !! We lost a brother for doing the utmost sacrifice. And now this "Panty" deny the medal. Bet a dollar to a donut, if it was his relative or one of his "benefactors" it would be cut and dry and even a big shindig for the fallen one. I have lost a great deal of faith in our "leaders". I bow my head in sorrow.
on December 13,2012 | 09:55AM
MakaniKai wrote:
I hope Sgt Peralta’s family continues to pursue the upgrade. If not for a study by Shaw University President Clinton would not have been able to award Dan Inouye in 2000, Fifty five years later. mrluke said: “Just suck it up and try to be a little humble.” Wow….Sgt Peralta is DEAD. http://www.commandposts.com/2010/10/prejudice-and-the-medal-of-honor/ Semper Fi & Aloha.
on December 13,2012 | 10:52AM
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