Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dead San Diego Marine again denied Medal of Honor

LOS ANGELES – The Department of Defense has reaffirmed its decision not to award the Medal of Honor to a Marine from San Diego who witnesses say threw himself on a grenade to save his colleagues during fierce fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.
Rep. Duncan Hunter and other politicians had appealed a decision to instead award Sgt. Rafael Peralta the Navy Cross, the second-highest medal the Navy can bestow for valor.
Peralta's nomination was tainted by reports he was hit in the head by friendly fire shortly before an insurgent lobbed the grenade, but witnesses described how the mortally wounded Marine deliberately grabbed the grenade and pulled it to his chest to protect fellow troops from the blast.
In a letter dated Tuesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said five independent experts — three medical doctors, a general and a Medal of Honor recipient — reviewed the forensic evidence and unanimously found it did not meet standards because they could not be sure Peralta acted deliberately.
California's senators and five San Diego-area representatives wrote to President George W. Bush, asking him to reconsider the decision and recognize Peralta's sacrifice to his comrades and his country.
"Intentionally absorbing a grenade blast to protect one's comrades in arms has been traditionally recognized by awarding the Medal of Honor," they wrote.


Post a Comment

<< Home

free hit counter