DoD denies posthumous Medal of Honor
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Department of Defense has reaffirmed its decision not to award the Medal of Honor to a Hawaii-based Marine who witnesses say threw himself on a grenade to save his colleagues in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who along with other politicians appealed the decision to award Sgt. Rafael Peralta of San Diego the Navy Cross instead, said today he was disappointed.
Peralta's nomination was tainted by reports he was accidentally shot by a fellow Marine shortly before an insurgent lobbed the grenade.
Eyewitnesses described how the Marine deliberately used his body to protect fellow troops from a grenade blast.
But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says five independent experts reviewed the evidence and found it did not meet the required standard.