SAN DIEGO (AP) – The secretary of defense has denied a request to upgrade a fallen 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 was not conscious when his body smothered a grenade in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives of other Marines, Gates ruled in 2008.
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. Cmdr. 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.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments