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  • Marine Denied Medal of Honor

    I thought this was an interesting read. I served in the marine corps in Fallujah in 2005 about 3 months after Phantom Fury I was wondering what some of the other vets thought of this.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_10501162

    Mother to ask Congress to award son Medal of Honor
    By Chelsea J. Carter
    Associated Press
    Article Launched: 09/18/2008 04:13:46 PM PDT


    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — The mother of a Marine who witnesses say covered a grenade with his body to save comrades in Iraq plans to appeal to Congress to award her son the nation's highest military honor after learning it was denied by Defense Secretary Robert Gates because of questions about his final act.

    Rosa Peralta said Thursday she made the decision after a Marine general told her that her son, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, would be awarded the Navy Cross rather than the Medal of Honor because the nomination was tainted by reports he was accidentally shot by a fellow Marine shortly before an insurgent lobbed the grenade.

    "I'm going to see what can be done, because I'm not satisfied with what they want to do now," she said in Spanish.

    President Bush singled out the Marine's actions in a 2005 Memorial Day speech, saying Peralta "understood that America faces dangerous enemies, and he knew the sacrifices required to defeat them."

    "The president spoke of him. So how is this now possible that they do this," Rosa Peralta said.

    She said she was considering rejecting the Navy Cross, the second-highest award for valor in combat that can be awarded to a Marine. Peralta will be the 24th recipient of the Navy Cross for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "I still don't know what I'm going to do," she said.

    The question about whether to award Peralta the Medal of Honor centers on whether the mortally wounded Marine, who was shot in the head and upper body, could have intentionally reached for the grenade and covered it with his body.

    "There was conflicting evidence in the case of Sgt. Peralta as to whether he could have performed his final acts given the nature of his injuries," said Capt. Beci Brenton, spokeswoman for Navy Secretary Donald Winter.

    The initial recommendation that he receive the Medal of Honor went through reviews by the Marine Corps, U.S. Central Command, the Department of the Navy and ultimately up to Defense Secretary Gates, Brenton said.

    After all the evidence was scrutinized, officials determined that it "did not meet the exact standard necessary to support the Medal of Honor," she said.

    But Rosa Peralta said she was led to believe her son would get the Medal of Honor in a November 2007 telephone call from an undersecretary of the Navy, who she says told her the nomination was be forwarded to the White House.

    Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said there was a June 2007 Navy recommendation for the Medal of Honor, but it never went to the White House because Gates didn't approve it.

    He said that because there was some contradictory evidence, Gates instead took the extra step of asking five other individuals to review the case — a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, a Medal of Honor recipient, a civilian neurosurgeon who is retired from the military and two forensic pathologists who also are military retirees.

    The five were given medical reports that had not been available in the initial review. They thoroughly reviewed the case again, including inspecting the evidence and re-enacting the event, Whitman said.

    "Each independently recommended to the secretary that the evidence did not support the award of Medal of Honor," he said.

    Gates made his decision this month.

    Peralta was shot several times in the face and body during a house-to-house search in Fallujah on Nov. 15, 2004, during some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

    According to witness accounts, Peralta lay mortally wounded on the floor of a house and grabbed a grenade lobbed by fleeing insurgents. His body absorbed the blast and he died immediately

  • #2
    I feel for her. That would be hard to be in the middle of.
    stay safe and always remember to look up!!

    "You've been talking to yourself in the mirror again haven't you ?

    chat room

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel for her. That would be hard to be in the middle of.
      stay safe and always remember to look up!!

      "You've been talking to yourself in the mirror again haven't you ?

      chat room

      Comment


      • #4
        I have heard the story. I feel for the family but if it doesn't fit the crtiteria it doesn't fit. The navy cross isn't an award to snub either.
        The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

        Comment


        • #5
          As I understand the reason it does not fit the criteria is because he was struck my friendly and insurgent party, before grabbing the grenade. The fact that friendly fire was involved seemed to be the deciding factor, which I disagree with because it played no bearing on him jumping on the grenade.
          "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." -President Ronald Reagan

          Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

          Comment


          • #6
            The way I read it is the Sec of Def desided that the Sgt couldnt do what was alleged due to the injuries he had already sustained. I guess that someone on the scene made that statement. If not, if the men on scene said he grabbed the grandade and covered it with his body then I dont see how you could over rule that.
            Why is it that the further up the chain of command an officer goes, the less of a consept they have of what the job on the street is all about?

            Comment


            • #7
              Both California senators and the other Democrats in congress have issue a declaration for review of the circumstances. We will see what transpires.

              According to all written accounts, his actions were worthy of recognition for the Navy Cross, but lacked some for the Medal of Honor.

              Either way, what he did for his comrades in arms is worthy of our recognition of heroism. I feel the mother is a tad over-reactive and should honor her son's memory with grace and pride.
              Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

              [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gadphto89
                just give the boy the damn medal, it's a piece of metal and a ribbon for chrissakes
                ***** ****** you are a ****ing tool.
                It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not to diminish this mans sacrifice but here is the account of one of many to recieve this award. It is far more than a piece of metal and ribbon.

                  BENAVIDEZ, ROY P. Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant, Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam.
                  Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968.
                  Entered service at: Houston, Texas June 1955.
                  Born: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas.

                  Citation: Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
                  The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Monkeybomb View Post
                    Not to diminish this mans sacrifice but here is the account of one of many to recieve this award. It is far more than a piece of metal and ribbon.

                    BENAVIDEZ, ROY P. Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant, Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam.
                    Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968.
                    Entered service at: Houston, Texas June 1955.
                    Born: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas.

                    Citation: Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.

                    Incredible. I'm speechless.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I keep a painting of all the SF medal of honor winners at my home. A friend named Casket Jim Parker made it years ago. I know a few of these men and they are great men and salt of the earth. I was fortunate in meeting them when I was growing up. I will never forget their heroism or sacrifice.
                      Last edited by Monkeybomb; 09-20-2008, 07:45 PM.
                      The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gadphto89
                        just give the boy the damn medal, it's a piece of metal and a ribbon for chrissakes
                        Wow. Just.... wow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As I understood it, friendly fire was to the head and back, rendering him incapable of making the decision attributed to him, like he either fell on it ... or ... your guess is as good as mine.
                          He said that because there was some contradictory evidence, Gates instead took the extra step of asking five other individuals to review the case — a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, a Medal of Honor recipient, a civilian neurosurgeon who is retired from the military and two forensic pathologists who also are military retirees.

                          The five were given medical reports that had not been available in the initial review. They thoroughly reviewed the case again, including inspecting the evidence and re-enacting the event, Whitman said.

                          "Each independently recommended to the secretary that the evidence did not support the award of Medal of Honor," he said.
                          President Bush called this one right too.
                          Originally posted by gadphto89
                          just give the boy the damn medal, it's a piece of metal and a ribbon for chrissakes
                          Wrong!
                          To award the nation's highest honor out of sympathy or because of political pressure or to appease popular sentament driven by media sensationalism deminishes the award itself. It deminishes the award for that instance, and all those who have recieved it in the past, or for all those who will recieve it in the future ... and / or their families.
                          Last edited by t150vsuptpr; 09-20-2008, 09:26 PM.
                          "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                          "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                          >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                          Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gadphto89
                            just give the boy the damn medal, it's a piece of metal and a ribbon for chrissakes
                            Are you freaking kidding me? And who is chris?

                            No matter what, I hope the memory of Sgt. Peralta's actions are never forgotton or marred due to the media frenzy surrounding this situation. However, I agree with t150vsuptpr, it would be wrong to award the Medal just because of media sensationalism or political pressure.
                            "Martyr" - just a fancy word for "crappy fighter"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Monkeybomb View Post
                              Not to diminish this mans sacrifice but here is the account of one of many to recieve this award. It is far more than a piece of metal and ribbon.

                              BENAVIDEZ, ROY P. Rank and Organization: Master Sergeant, Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group, Republic of Vietnam.
                              Place and Date: West of Loc Ninh on 2 May 1968.
                              Entered service at: Houston, Texas June 1955.
                              Born: 5 August 1935, DeWitt County, Cuero, Texas.

                              Citation: Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.
                              That's one hell of a guy. /salute
                              "Friendly Fire, isn't"

                              Comment

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