MarineChat.com

Where Marines, their families, and friends come together

To request registration to MarineChat.com please forward you requested user name, email address, date of birth, and the zip code where you live to the webmaster.


Go Back   MarineChat.com > Current Items of interest
FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Current Items of interest This forum is for any current item of interest. It can be for anything. Good, Bad, or Indifferent. World events. What your mother in law or father in law did yesterday. Or maybe you just have a opinion.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-30-2015, 01:42 AM
GyBill's Avatar
GyBill GyBill is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Missouri City, TX
Posts: 38,446
Usmc6 Peralta family will donate fallen Marine's Navy Cross to ship

Nearly seven years after the award was approved, the family of fallen Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta will hold his Navy Cross next month. But not for long.

In 2004, grabbed a grenade tossed by an enemy during a building-clearing mission in Fallujah, Iraq. According to his 2008 Navy Cross citation, Peralta pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the blast to protect his fellow Marines. His superiors put him in for the military's highest award for valor — the Medal of Honor — but a succession of defense secretaries determined that the evidence of Peralta's heroism is not conclusive enough to meet the high standard for that award.

Supporters repeatedly pushed to have Peralta's award upgraded for 10 years. And during that span, the fallen Marine's family opted not to receive his Navy Cross, insisting he earned the Medal of Honor.

But now family members have agreed to accept the award and will do so June 8 at a Camp Pendleton, California ceremony presided over by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

Peralta's mother, two sisters and brother plan to attend the ceremony, along with Marine veteran Nicholas Jones, who says Peralta saved his life.

Officials with I Marine Expeditionary Force confirmed plans for a ceremony, saying details were still being worked out.

Peralta's sister, Icelda Peralta-Donald, said the family had a change of heart last October during the keel-laying ceremony for the Navy destroyer Rafael Peralta. Navy officials told Peralta's mother, Rosa, that it was traditional for the family to donate a personal item for the ship in honor of its namesake.

"That was her motivation to receive the Navy Cross," Peralta-Donald said. "She feels that it will take Rafa's spirit and keep all the crew members safe. She feels that it will belong there."

The family plans to treasure the Navy Cross over the summer and donate it to the ship for its Oct. 31 christening, Peralta-Donald said.



She said the Marine Corps had quickly assented when her brother Ricardo reached out to officials and explained the family's interest in holding a ceremony.

In some ways, the ceremony will bring closure to a long period of waiting and uncertainty for the family. A new effort to award Peralta the Medal of Honor was launched in 2013 by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who released new photos of the Marine's shrapnel-scarred rifle and unearthed additional witness statements from a Marine and Navy corpsmen who had been near the compound where Peralta died.

But last year then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced he would not reopen the case, saying the new evidence still did not meet the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.

A February 2014 Washington Post story stirred new controversy, quoting two Marine witnesses who claimed the story of Peralta's heroism was made up shortly after his death by grieving comrades. Other eyewitnesses told Marine Corps Times they stood by their accounts of the fallen Marine's bravery.

Peralta-Donald said the family's decision to accept the Navy Cross was not a concession or an indication that they would stop pursuing a higher award.

"Deep in our hearts we still believe somebody will do the right thing and upgrade to the Medal of Honor," she said.

Current Defense Secretary Ash Carter has never been asked to consider the Peralta case, so there remains the possibility of a new review in coming years.

Peralta-Donald acknowledged the toll the uncertainty had taken on her family and said it was time to treasure the honors Sgt. Peralta had been accorded.

"Right now, I think my mom is tired. She just wants to put an end to all this," she said. "When we went to see the ship, it was amazing. It changed the spirit of everything."
Attached Images
File Type: jpg uss rafael.jpg (35.4 KB, 2 views)
__________________

GyBill U.S.M.C.
Webmaster MarineChat.com, Obituary NCOIC
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steadfast valor, and a Navy Cross GyBill The Final Duty Station 0 04-14-2007 23:51 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This forum is private. It is not a official Marine Corps web page. It is for the use of invited guests. We invite you to join us and hope that you enjoy your visits. © copyright 2003-2019 MarineChat.com. All Rights Reserved. Content published on MarineChat.com requires permission for reprint.