Medal of Honor Denied to Marine by Defense Secretary Panetta

Discussion in 'Modern' started by ToughOmbre, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has denied the Navy’s request to award Sgt. Rafael Peralta the Medal of Honor.

    Peralta died in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 while smothering a grenade, saving the lives of the other marines in his squad. Those Marines said Peralta, who’d been shot in the head, scooped the grenade into himself to absorb the blast

    Disgraceful decision by the Defense Secretary!

    Panetta denies Medal of Honor for Marine who dived on grenade - Washington Times

    Steve
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! There are no words to describe how much Panetta is wrong.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Lobby your representatives, write to the President if necessary - but get that guy the Medal !!!
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Unbelievable.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Let me state first that I don't know what happened,I wasn't there.
    Let's not let a knee jerk reaction get in the way of facts. The "upgrading" of the Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor was first blocked by the then Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2008. Gates ruled the evidence was inconclusive, something that in Panetta’s opinion remains unchanged. There is conflicting eye witness and medical/pathology evidence.

    “Though eyewitness accounts are mostly (but not entirely) consistent, there is considerable medical and professional doubt about whether Sgt. Peralta could have performed the actions attributed to him, and whether the grenade exploded under him, as some suggested,” Panetta said in his letter, according to the Marine Corps News. “The doubts about this come from, among others, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and his Armed Forces Medical Examiner System’s board of certified pathologists, and a number of other medical professionals who have looked at the case.”

    Whether this brave young man deserves his nation's highest decoration is not for me to say.

    Steve
     
  6. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    I read the Washington Post article. It seems that Sgt. Peralta had been hit by "friendly fire" in the head before scooping the grenade under him. There is conflicting testimony by the surviving squad members as to which arm he used. The Pathologists think that the wound he suffered left him blind, possibly dead, before the grenade went off.
    Is the squad trying to "do right by him", after an unfortunate accident? Or is this a case of true heroism by a dying man. Hard to say. Either way, a Medal of Honor would be a small compensation to his mother. In this case if there is an error to be made, it should be on the side of the Marine. If nothing else, a symbol for all the others that died, Heroes all.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #7 stona, Dec 14, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
    It's a sensitive subject but I can understand why the US authorities don't want to "devalue" such a prestigious decoration.

    There have been examples in British military history where Victoria Crosses were handed out like toffees. Inkerman,Lucknow and most famously Rorke's Drift spring to mind. At the time the VC was a relatively recent decoration and steps were later taken to make it more exclusive and prevent its award on "political" grounds as is widely purported to have been the case at Rorke's Drift.
    Only 628 VCs were awarded during WW I (one man won two) and only 182 in WW II (again one man won two).

    Steve
     
  8. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    From what I'm reading in the (Norfolk) Virginian Pilot, Sgt. Peralta was "probably dead" when he fell on the grenade. This is why Panetta denied the request. I was not there, so I do not know what transpired.

    Charles
     
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