SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego congressman says the secretary of defense has denied his request to upgrade a fallen Marine's Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor.
Rep. Duncan Hunter's office said Wednesday that the Pentagon told the lawmaker it supports the decision of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who honored Sgt. Rafael Peralta with the Navy Cross instead of the military's highest honor.
Gates ruled in 2008 that Peralta was not conscious when his body smothered a grenade in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives of other Marines.
The case was reopened this year after Hunter obtained a video of the battle action and a new forensics report that the lawmaker says prove Peralta's actions were intentional.
Hunter's office says defense officials found the new evidence was not sufficient.