The Marine Corps Times reports that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a lawmaker who is leading a campaign to see fallen Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta receive the Medal of Honor, sent more supporting evidence to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. According to the newspaper, Hunter sent the defense chief new eyewitness accounts of Peralta’s actions during the battle that killed him.
Peralta was killed in combat in Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 15, 2004, when he covered a grenade with his body to protect fellow Marines. Corps officials recommended that he receive the Medal of Honor, but then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to the Marine Corps Times report, questioned whether Peralta knowingly acted to absorb the blast, since he had also taken a ricocheting rifle round to the head. Peralta ultimately received the Navy Cross in 2008.
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